Industry Updates

Best Practices for Saner Spreadsheets

Gavin shares some really good ideas about how to structure spreadsheets to support later understanding; there are sanity-saving ideas that work for collaborative workspaces too.

“As spreadsheets become more integral to our work (and, consequently, more complex in their design and function), a clear need has emerged to have a set of principles around which spreadsheets are designed and developed. There are a number of distinct methodologies and approaches, such as FAST (‘Flexible, Accurate, Structured, Transparent’), but in my view the important thing is to find a few guidelines that make sense for you (and the people you work with), and then … just follow ’em.

My first personal experience with best practices came when I was in business school. My Quantitative Methods coursework was done entirely in Excel, and my professor, Dr. Hillier, insisted that people follow some guidelines when laying out their spreadsheets so he could understand what the students were doing. His guidelines were simple, straightforward, and made a lot of sense; years later, I find myself still using them and saving my sanity.”


Categories: Industry Updates