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

Spreadsheet bibliography

Title Combining smells and fault localization in spreadsheets
Authors Rui Abreu, Jacome Cunha, Joao Paulo Fernandes, Pedro Martins, Alexandre Perez, & Joao Saraiva
Year 2016
Type Article
Publication Submitted
Series Pages 1-29
Abstract

Despite being staggeringly error prone, spreadsheets are a highly flexible programming environment that is widely used in industry. In fact, spreadsheets are widely adopted for decision making, and decisions taken upon wrong (spreadsheet-based) assumptions may have serious economical impacts on businesses, among other consequences.

This paper proposes a technique to automatically pinpoint potential faults in spreadsheets. It combines a catalog of spreadsheet smells that provide a first indication of a potential fault, with a generic spectrum-based fault localization strategy in order to improve (in terms of accuracy and false positive rate) on these initial results.

Our technique has been implemented in a tool which helps users detecting faults. To validate the proposed technique, we consider a well-known and well-documented catalog of faulty spreadsheets.

Our experiments yield two main results:

  • We were able to distinguish between smells that can point to faulty cells from smells and those that are not capable of doing so.
  • We provide a technique capable of detecting a significant number of errors: two thirds of the cells labeled as faulty are in fact (documented) errors.
Full version Available
Sample
Spreadsheet analysis framework
Spreadsheet analysis framework
Overview of spreadsheet analysis framework used to automatically locate potential faults in spreadsheets by combining a catalog of smells with a spectrum-based fault localization strategy.
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