I would like to share some interesting information I learned from the Spreadsheet Engineering Project. This research project was undertaken at the Tuck School of Business at Dartmouth College. Professors Baker, Powell and Lawson conducted the research.

Quoting from their site, the purpose of the project is to “is to improve the design and use of spreadsheets by individuals and organizations.” Their research focuses on “identifying best practices in spreadsheet development (design, testing, documenting); procedures for implementing, modifying, sharing, and archiving spreadsheets; and organizational policies relating to standards, training and quality control.”

Even though I have been around spreadsheets for two decades in large and small organizations, and can say “been there, done that” regarding many spreadsheet application scenarios, there’s a lot I haven’t seen. Looking at the survey results, there are several surprises where the survey shows data that’s not what I would have guessed.

This is the link to the project site: www.mba.tuck.dartmouth.edu/spreadsheet/index.html

The surveys were conducted in 2005-2006, with about 1600 respondents. Below are some selected questions from the survey.