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Laura Beckwith, Jacome Cunha, Joao Paulo Fernandes, & Joao Saraiva


Spreadsheets are widely used, and studies have shown that most end-user spreadsheets contain nontrivial errors. To improve end-users productivity, recent research proposes the use of a model-driven engineering approach to spreadsheets.

In this paper we conduct the first systematic empirical study to assess the effectiveness and efficiency of this approach. A set of spreadsheet end users worked with two different model-based spreadsheets, and we present and analyze here the results achieved.


Research questions and results:

  • Do end users introduce fewer errors when they use one of the model-based spreadsheet versus the original unmodified spreadsheet? Our observations indicate that there is potential for improving end-user effectiveness using model-based spreadsheets.
  • Are end users more efficient using the model-based ones? We observed that, frequently, the more elaborate spreadsheet models allowed users to perform faster.
  • Do particular models lead to fewer errors in particular tasks? For editing and querying data the models did help end users.


2011, EuSpRIG

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An empirical study on end-users productivity using model-based spreadsheets