Analyzing and visualizing spreadsheets

Speaker: Felienne Hermans, Delft University


“Spreadsheets are the glue that keeps this company together” – IT Manager at a large Dutch bank

If you’re talking about data in companies, it will very likely involve spreadsheets. Despite their widespread use for all sorts of company critical tasks, like risk analysis, trading or forecasting, not much is known about how they are built and maintained in real-life.

Over the past few years, researchers at the Delft University of Technology have analyzed the use of spreadsheets, including a case study in which we studied the data and meta data of 3 million spreadsheets from 50 different companies. In this talk we will take you through the wonders of real-life spreadsheets. From spreadsheets from the 90’s that are still in use, to spreadsheets that gather data from more than 20 different sources and spreadsheets that are used to control gas installations. But this talk won't just be about problems associated with spreadsheets, we also discuss how to maintain and improve spreadsheets by using techniques from software engineering.