Research on spreadsheet errors is substantial, compelling, and unanimous.
Panko (2015)
1% of all formulas in operational spreadsheets are in error.
Powell, Baker, & Lawson (2009)
Overconfidence is one of the most substantial causes of spreadsheet errors.
Sakal, et al (2015)
Spreadsheets are more fault-prone than other software.
Kulesz & Ostberg (2013)
Despite overwhelming and unanimous evidence... companies have continued to ignore spreadsheet error risks.
Panko (2014)
Spreadsheets contain errors at an alarmingly high rate.
Abraham, et al (2005)
The issue is not whether there is an error but how many errors there are and how serious they are.
Panko (2007)
Spreadsheets are dangerous to their authors and others.
Durusau & Hunting (2015)
Spreadsheets are often hard, if not impossible, to understand.
Mireault & Gresham (2015)
Programmers exhibit unwarranted confidence in the correctness of their spreadsheets.
Krishna, et al (2001)
Spreadsheets have a notoriously high number of faults.
Rust, et al (2006)
The software that end users are creating... is riddled with errors.
Burnett & Myers (2014)
Spreadsheet development must embrace extensive testing in order to be taken seriously as a profession.
Bock (2016)
Spreadsheets are notoriously error-prone.
Cunha, et al (2011)
The results given by spreadsheets are often just wrong.
Sajaniemi (1998)
Never assume a spreadsheet is right, even your own.
Raffensperger (2001)
The untested spreadsheet is as dangerous and untrustworthy as an untested program.
Price (2006)
Errors in spreadsheets... result in incorrect decisions being made and significant losses incurred.
Beaman, et al (2005)
Spreadsheets... pose a greater threat to your business than almost anything you can imagine.
Howard (2005)
People tend to believe their spreadsheets are more accurate than they really are.
Caulkins, Morrison, & Weidemann (2006)
Spreadsheet errors are still the rule rather than the exception.
Nixon & O'Hara (2010)
A lot of decisions are being made on the basis of some bad numbers.
Ross (1996)
Your spreadsheets may be disasters in the making.
Caulkins, Morrison, & Weidemann (2006)
Spreadsheets are commonly used and commonly flawed.
Caulkins, Morrison, & Weidemann (2008)
It is irrational to expect large error-free spreadsheets.
Panko (2013)
94% of the 88 spreadsheets audited in 7 studies have contained errors.
Panko (2008)
Spreadsheets are easy to use and very hard to check.
Chen & Chan (2000)
Spreadsheet errors have resulted in huge financial losses.
Abraham & Erwig (2007)
The quality and reliability of spreadsheets is known to be poor.
Bishop & McDaid (2007)
...few incidents of spreadsheet errors are made public and these are usually not revealed by choice.
Kruck & Sheetz (2001)
Spreadsheets are alarmingly error-prone to write.
Paine (2001)
Despite being staggeringly error prone, spreadsheets are a highly flexible programming environment.
Abreu, et al (2015)
Developing an error-free spreadsheet has been a problem since the beginning of end-user computing.
Mireault (2015)
It is now widely accepted that errors in spreadsheets are both common and potentially dangerous.
Nixon & O'Hara (2010)
Spreadsheet errors are pervasive, stubborn, ubiquitous and complex.
Irons (2003)
Spreadsheet errors... a great, often unrecognised, risk to corporate decision making & financial integrity.
Chadwick (2002)
Spreadsheets are the most popular live programming environments, but they are also notoriously fault-prone.
Hermans & van der Storm (2015)
Every study, without exception, has found error rates much higher than organizations would wish to tolerate.
Panko (1999)
Untested spreadsheets are riddled with errors.
Miller (2005)
60% of large companies feel 'Spreadsheet Hell' describes their reliance on spreadsheets.
Murphy (2007)
Studies have shown that there is a high incidence of errors in spreadsheets.
Csernoch & Biro (2013)
Spreadsheets can be viewed as a highly flexible programming environment for end users.
Abreu, et al (2015)
Most large spreadsheets have dozens or even hundreds of errors.
Panko & Ordway (2005)
Every study that has looked for errors has found them... in considerable abundance.
Panko & Halverson (1996)
Errors in spreadsheets are as ubiquitous as spreadsheets themselves.
Colbenz (2005)
Even obvious, elementary errors in very simple, clearly documented spreadsheets are... difficult to find.
Galletta, et al (1993)
Spreadsheets are extraordinarily and unacceptably prone to error.
Dunn (2010)
Most executives do not really check or verify the accuracy or validity of [their] spreadsheets...
Teo & Tan (1999)
A significant proportion of spreadsheets have severe quality problems.
Ayalew (2007)
Spreadsheet shortcomings can significantly hamper an organization's business operation.
Reschenhofer & Matthes (2015)

Spreadsheet bibliography

Title How effectively can spreadsheet anomalies be detected: An empirical study
Authors Ruiqing Zhang, Chang Xu, Shing-Chi Cheung, Ping Yu, Xiaoxing Ma, & Jian Lu
Year 2017
Type Article
Publication Journal of Systems and Software
Series Volume 126, pages 87-100
Abstract

While spreadsheets are widely used, they have been found to be error-prone. Various techniques have been proposed to detect anomalies in spreadsheets, with varying scopes and effectiveness. Nevertheless, there is no empirical study comparing these techniques' practical usefulness and effectiveness.

In this work, we conducted a large-scale empirical study of three state-of-the-art techniques on their effectiveness in detecting spreadsheet anomalies. Our study focused on the precision, recall rate, efficiency and scope. We found that one technique outperforms the other two in precision and recall rate of spreadsheet anomaly detection.

Efficiency of the three techniques is acceptable for most spreadsheets, but they may not be scalable to large spreadsheets with complex formulas. Besides, they have different scopes for detecting different spreadsheet anomalies, thus complementing to each other.

We also discussed limitations of these three techniques. Based on our findings, we give suggestions for future spreadsheet research.

Full version Available
Sample
Overview of the study process
Overview of the study process

We first preprocessed the three corpora and implemented interfaces for manipulating the three tools (techniques).

Then we used the adapted tools to detect anomalies in worksheets and recorded cells and worksheets involved in anomalies.

At last, we inspected sampled worksheets for the ground truth and analyzed experimental results.

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