Spreadsheet gurus are often the important caretakers of an organization’s most sensitive information. If so, then this phrase probably gives you some pause. Just because you haven’t yet experienced a spreadsheet “horror story” doesn’t mean that there is not one lurking in your future.
“Past history is no guarantee of future performance” – this is a well-known maxim in financial services.
Perhaps you’ve had Excel errors that you’ve caught in time – or maybe you’ve never experienced an error at all. But at the end of the day, we’re all human. Statistically speaking, we’re all very likely, almost guaranteed, to have a spreadsheet error: Studies have shown that over 90% of spreadsheets with 150+ rows have errors. This indicates that a vast majority of your highly-critical spreadsheets probably have errors in them.
This isn't surprising – spreadsheets continue to increase in size and complexity. A few years ago Excel could only accommodate 65,000 rows of data. Now it allows over a million rows. Adding to this complexity is the ability to create links, retrieve data from external databases and write your own macros. Even though end users have varying degrees of expertise and experience in using Excel, these sophisticated tools are available to everyone, usually with minimal information security and other access controls.
Compounding the problem, spreadsheets rarely go through a formal quality assurance or a peer-review process where the outputs are validated. For those that do, manual error checking is tedious at best and ineffective at worst.
It is no wonder then, that spreadsheet horror stories continue to emerge with predictable regularity. They can cost organizations millions, sometimes billions in losses, regulatory penalties, and equally serious, loss of reputation.
When it comes to spreadsheet errors and sensitive data loss - past history is no guarantee of future performance.
Learn more about how you can validate the accuracy of your spreadsheets with just the click of a button.