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


Connexion is a collection of the most useful and interesting spreadsheet-related articles from the web.

We review more than 200 websites and blogs to collect the best articles on tools, tips, and techniques that help you to improve your spreadsheets. Each article here is just a snippet - click on the title to open the full article.

Numer of Connexion articles: 233

7 common VBA mistakes to avoid

7 common VBA mistakes to avoid

21 September 2017

When it comes to VBA, it's almost too easy to make a mistake. These mistakes can cost you greatly, both in time and in frustration.

In this post, I'd like to help you avoid these typical mistakes and make you a better VBA programmer:

  • Using .Select / .Activate.
  • Using the Variant type.
  • Not using Application.ScreenUpdating = False.
  • Referencing the worksheet name with a string.
  • Not fully qualifying your range references.
  • Making your Sub / Function TOO LONG.
  • Going down the nested For / If rabbit hole.
5 reasons to use an Excel Table as the source of a Pivot Table

5 reasons to use an Excel Table as the source of a Pivot Table

15 September 2017

Learn why using an Excel Table as the source of a Pivot Table can save time and prevent errors.

The reasons why you should use Tables for the source data range of your Pivot Tables are:

  • Adding new data & preventing embarrassment.
  • Eliminate maintenance on multiple Pivot Tables.
  • Prevent errors when creating Pivot Tables.
  • Avoid whole column references.
  • Prevent the Filter controls error with connected Slicers.
Microsoft Excel: Rules for designing Excel workbooks

Microsoft Excel: Rules for designing Excel workbooks

3 September 2017

Q. Is there a list of standard Excel design rules we should be following as we create new Excel worksheets?

A. By following a common set of spreadsheet design rules, companies can produce more consistent workbooks that may be easier to review, edit, and use by others in their organizations:

  • Documentation.
  • Table of contents.
  • Print macro buttons.
  • Avoid embedded assumptions.
  • Well-organized worksheet assumptions.
  • Assumptions in yellow cells.
  • Name assumption cells.
  • Error-checking formulas.
  • Organize your template by worksheets.
  • Simplify complex calculations.
  • Explanations.
  • Consistent look and feel.
  • Add File Properties.
  • Cross-footing and error-checking formulas.
  • Worksheet protection.
Scared straight? Reviewing Excel files in the wake of Wells Fargo

Scared straight? Reviewing Excel files in the wake of Wells Fargo

25 August 2017

The Wells Fargo inadvertent disclosure episode provides a high-profile reminder that attorneys who are responsible for reviewing and producing client documents must thoroughly understand those documents.

As reported by the New York Times, the inadvertently produced material "included copious spreadsheets with customers' names and Social Security numbers, paired with financial details like the size of their investment portfolios and the fees the bank charged them."

Here is a list of skills that I think every reviewer must have to competently review spreadsheets in the eDiscovery context:

  • Reviewing the entire workbook, not just the current tab.
  • Understanding Filters.
  • Identifying hidden rows, columns, and worksheets.
  • Identifying & deciphering formulas.
  • Understand the Freeze Panes display feature.
  • Finding and expanding truncated text.
  • Identify the boundaries of a worksheet.
  • Finding each worksheet's print formatting.
Understanding absolute, relative, and mixed cell references in Excel

Understanding absolute, relative, and mixed cell references in Excel

10 August 2017

A worksheet in Excel is made up of cells. These cells can be referenced by specifying the row value and the column value.

The power of Excel lies in the fact that you can use these cell reference in other cells when creating formulas.

There are three kinds of cell references in Excel:

  • Relative cell references.
  • Absolute cell references.
  • Mixed cell references.
  • Understanding these different type of cell references will help you work with formulas and save time (especially when copy pasting formulas).

Text import wizard gone? How to import CSV and text files in Excel

Text import wizard gone? How to import CSV and text files in Excel

31 July 2017

Microsoft quietly replaced the comfortable Text Import Wizard from Excel and replaced it with the "Get & Transform" tools.

The "Get & Transform" tools offer a lot of options and are very powerful. Unfortunately, they are quite complicated to use. Here is what you should now.

Topics in this article include:

  • Restore the "Text Import Wizard".
  • How to use the "Text Import Wizard".
  • Import text and csv files with the "Get & Transform" tools.
Excel named range - How to define and use names in Excel

Excel named range - How to define and use names in Excel

17 July 2017

This tutorial explains what an Excel name is and shows how to define a name for a cell, range, constant or formula. You will also learn how to edit, filter and delete defined names in Excel.

Topics include:

  • Excel name - the basics.
  • How to name a range in Excel.
  • How to create a named constant.
  • How to make a named formula.
  • How to name columns and rows (create names from selection).
  • How to create a dynamic named range in Excel.
  • Excel name rules.
  • Scope of Excel names.
  • Excel Name Manager.
  • Top 5 benefits of using names in Excel.
  • Excel named range - tips and tricks.
Excel and modeling governance: What can we do better?

Excel and modeling governance: What can we do better?

11 July 2017

Looking around, a few things are apparent:

  • Everyone is still using Excel.
  • Spreadsheets still contain errors.
  • Graduates still don't have the requisite spreadsheet skills upon entering the workforce.
  • Companies still aren't regularly enforcing good model governance.

This article (see page 7) looks at how we can address the issues and make spreadsheets more user-friendly and faster to use, less prone to error and more capable of completing the tasks required of them.

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