- "Spreadsheet errors are probably more prevalent than most users realise. A 2005 paper by Jonathan P. Caulkins, Carnegie Mellon University, refers to earlier studies which suggest that the (simple) average proportion of spreadsheets with errors was 46%. A further analysis of this literature by Panko suggested that even those numbers might understate the problem, since not all audits find all errors. Out of 8 studies auditing a total of 421 spreadsheets using better methodologies, only one study had an error rate below 21%. According to Panko, a weighted average of published spreadsheet audits since 1995 suggests that 94% of spreadsheets had errors. Even if these stunning rates overstate the problem in practice, it is hard to avoid the conclusion that errors in spreadsheets are common. "
It is time to move past Excel (and thus spreadsheets) and into tools that treat data as data and calculations as calculations and not confusingly mix the two as is often the case with Excel. Enterprise mashups are going in the right direction, but still don't give users the same flexibility as Excel. So what do you think will eventually replace Excel as the defacto analyst tool in the enterprise?