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

Spreadsheet bibliography

Title How to communicate unit error messages in spreadsheets
Authors Robin Abraham & Martin Erwig
Year 2005
Type Article
Publication ACM SIGSOFT Software Engineering Notes
Series Volume 30, Issue 4, July, pages 1-5
Abstract

In previous work we have designed and implemented an automatic reasoning system for spreadsheets, called UCheck, that infers unit information for cells in a spreadsheet. Based on this unit information, UCheck can identify cells in the spreadsheet that contain erroneous formulas.

However, the information about an erroneous cell is reported to the user currently in a rather crude way by simply coloring the cell, which does not tell anything about the nature of error and thus offers no help to the user as to how to fix it.

In this paper we describe an extension of UCheck, called UFix, which improves the error messages reported to the spreadsheet user dramatically. The approach essentially consists of three steps:

  • First, we identify different categories of spreadsheet errors from an end-user’s perspective.
  • Second, we map units that indicate erroneous formulas to these error categories.
  • Finally, we create customized error messages from the unit information and the identified error category.

In many cases, these error messages also provide suggestions on how to fix the reported errors.

Full version Available
Sample
Offset error in UFix
Offset error in UFix

This example shows how an error situation will be communicated to the end user in UFix.

The unit for cell B6 is inferred as Fruit | Month[May|June] & Fruit[Apple]. Units of B3 and B4 can be combined to give a valid unit, but the inclusion of B2 in the formula as well as the omission of B5 results in the unit error.

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