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Bas Jansen & Felienne Hermans


The use of spreadsheets in industry is widespread. Companies base decisions on information coming from spreadsheets.

Unfortunately, spreadsheets are error-prone and this increases the risk that companies base their decisions on inaccurate information, which can lead to incorrect decisions and loss of money.

In general, spreadsheet research is aimed to reduce the error-proneness of spreadsheets. Most research is concentrated on the use of formulas. However, there are other constructions in spreadsheets, like charts, pivot tables, and array formulas, that are also used to present decision support information to the user.

There is almost no research about how these constructions are used. To improve spreadsheet quality it is important to understand how spreadsheets are used and to obtain a complete understanding, the use of charts, pivot tables, and array formulas should be included in research.

In this paper, we analyze two popular spreadsheet corpora: Enron and EUSES on the use of the aforementioned constructions.


Number of spreadsheets with and without charts
Number of spreadsheets with and without charts

Charts are not rare but the majority of spreadsheets do not contain any charts.

They occur more in the Enron spreadsheets. This could be an indication that charts are used more frequently in an industrial setting.


2018, 5th International Workshop on Software Engineering Methods in Spreadsheets, October

Full article

The use of charts, pivot tables, and array formulas in two popular spreadsheet corpora