A Graphical Approach for Reducing Spreadsheet Linking Errors

A Graphical Approach for Reducing Spreadsheet Linking Errors

Charles E. Morrison (University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire, USA), Joline Morrison (University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire, USA), John Melrose (University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire, USA) and E. Vance Wilson (University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee, USA)
Copyright: © 2003 |Pages: 17
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-59140-065-3.ch009
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Abstract

Spreadsheet programs are deceptively simple tools that are widely used by end user developers in organizations. However, recent studies have shown that spreadsheets often contain significant, decision-affecting errors. One study that addressed “linking errors,” i.e., incorrect references to spreadsheet cell values on separate work areas, found these errors to be a major error source in complex spreadsheets that use distinct work areas spread across multiple worksheets. This paper describes a code inspection approach that visually represents the structure of a linked spreadsheet and graphically identifies linked cells and their sources. We tested this approach in an experimental study where subjects created a complex spreadsheet. Results indicate that subjects who used the approach made significantly fewer errors and experienced no decrease in speed of spreadsheet production or satisfaction with the production process.

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Table of Contents
Preface
Mo Adam Mahmood
Chapter 1
L. A. Witt, L. A. Burke
In order to achieve competitive advantage, 21st century organizations will make substantial investments in information technology (IT). Effective... Sample PDF
Using Cognitive Ability and Personality to Select Information Technology Professionals
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Chapter 2
Susan Turner, Phil Turner
Researchers in Information Systems have produced a rich collection of meta-analyses and models of factors influencing the uptake of information... Sample PDF
Beyond Relative Advantage: Factors in End-User Uptake of Computer Supported Cooperative Work
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Chapter 3
Robert W. Stone, John W. Henry
The study uses data collected by a survey of computer-based medical information system end users in a large hospital in the southeastern United... Sample PDF
The Roles of Computer Self-Efficacy and Outcome Expectancy in Influencing the Computer End-User's Organizational Commitment
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Chapter 4
I. M. Jawahar
End-user computing (EUC) has the potential to enhance productivity. However, for this potential to be realized, end users must learn EUC skills and... Sample PDF
Personal and Situational Factors as Predictors of End User Performance
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Chapter 5
Neil McBride, A. Trevor Wood-Harper
Control is a major issue in end-user computing. The migration of responsibility, resources and authority from IT departments to user departments is... Sample PDF
A Dynamic Model of End-User Computing
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Chapter 6
Tanya J. McGill
Organizations rely heavily on applications developed by end users, yet lack of experience and training may compromise the ability of end users to... Sample PDF
A Comparison of End User and Expert Systems Quality Assessments
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Chapter 7
Rex Karsten
The working relationship of information systems (IS) professionals and end users is an ongoing source of both research and practical concern. This... Sample PDF
A Matter of Perspective: The Role of Casual Attribution in the Assessment of User-System Outcomes
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Chapter 8
Christian Wagner
Knowledge is receiving recognition as a strategic force in organizations. Correspondingly, one form of knowledge capture and maintenance... Sample PDF
Knowledge Management through End User Developed Expert Systems: Potential and Limitations
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Chapter 9
Charles E. Morrison, Joline Morrison, John Melrose, E. Vance Wilson
Spreadsheet programs are deceptively simple tools that are widely used by end user developers in organizations. However, recent studies have shown... Sample PDF
A Graphical Approach for Reducing Spreadsheet Linking Errors
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Chapter 10
Rajiv Kohli, Jatinder N.D. Gupta
This paper reports the results of an exploratory study of student perceptions of the education and experiences of the Systems Analysis and Design... Sample PDF
Effectiveness of Systems Analysis and Design Education: An Exploratory Study
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Chapter 11
S. E. Kruck, John J. Maher, Reza Barkhi
It is well documented that electronic spreadsheet models utilized in many professions to enhance decision-making frequently contain errors that have... Sample PDF
A Framework for Cognitive Skill Acquisition and Spreadsheet Training
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Chapter 12
Elaine R. Winston, Dorothy G. Dologite
According to previous studies, a positive attitude towards information technology (IT) among small business owners appears to be a key factor in... Sample PDF
Attitude and Management Style Matter in IT Implementation: A Study of Small Business Owners
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Chapter 13
Albert H. Huang
As end-user training becomes increasingly important in today’s technology-intensive business environment, progressive companies remain alert to find... Sample PDF
A Three-Tier Technology Training Strategy in a Dynamic Business Environment
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About the Authors