Survey on Excel use

An INFORMS SPRIG email contained a request for a survey on Excel use from Abigail Rose Rebello, a graduate student at Cardiff, who needs the responses for her dissertation. It took me under 10 minutes, interrupted by 2 phone calls, to complete the survey.

From the email I received:
— quote —
Understanding Spreadsheet Usage – Survey

Spreadsheets are crucial elements of today’s business world and grow in importance every day. The usage, development and management techniques of each spreadsheet user appear to be unique. We are interested in studying these diverse characteristics via a global survey. The information you provide will help the student conducting this research to understand the wide ranging differences and similarities be tween different classes of spreadsheet users and developers. It would be really helpful if you took the time to answer a few questions via the survey link posted below.

– end quote –

Tushar Mehta

4 thoughts on “Survey on Excel use

  1. Thanks, Tushar. FWIW, At the end I felt like there should have been a spot to write a comment. If there was I missed it. Maybe my imagination, but, the questions seemed to assume that spreadsheets were standalone entities whereas we use them as part of a system to collect data – the data is then transferred to a database where most analysis is done. So, we end up with little processing & calculations done in spreadsheets. Spreadsheets do some analysis: mostly without formulas (using pivot tables and smart data handling) so that we don’t have formulas that can be wrong, and we don’t need much auditing checks. (That is what we think, anyway!!)

  2. Hmmm…. Posting a link on *this* site will generate traffic from Excel developers: that’ll skew the survey sample with far more Excel/VBA experts than you’d expect in the general population.

    Also: the ‘What Industry’ question had categories for education, manufacturing, services, etc. I recorded an ‘Other (please specify)’ with the text ‘Banking / Finance’ – probably the sector with the most intensive spreadsheet usage – but that’s probably going to be hidden in an aggregation of ‘Other’ or misreported if everyone else in banking lists ‘Services’.

  3. I think “self selection” is inevitable with an open on-line survey.

    I really didn’t know how to answer the first line of question 28. I probably should have ticked “never”, since I do create spreadsheets, I never never create them, but instead I ticked “always”.

    I also had a problem with the industry question and ended up in “other”.

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