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Spreadsheet Management Survey Report

Simulation Data Management provides an automated electronic framework to assist the analyst in tracking the information objects created during the process simulation and allows past simulation objects to be readily located. What was not clear at the outset was whether the data managed by such a system should include the results of interactive authoring tools such as spreadsheets.

This survey was conducted to gain an overview of the extent to which spreadsheets are used in Product Engineering and the importance of the information they may hold to the overall process. The survey established that the use of spreadsheets is widespread and the information that they generate is of critical importance to many areas of product engineering.


SectionPage Number
1.2Survey rationale2
1.3Survey response rate3
1.4Changes over the period following the survey.4
2Findings – spreadsheet usage5
2.1Nature of spreadsheet use5
2.2Description of most critical spreadsheet6
2.3Reason for use6
2.4Changes in level of use7
2.5Number of users8
2.6Frequency of use9
2.7Life expectancy of spreadsheets10
2.8Company support for spreadsheet use.11
3Findings – spreadsheet authoring13
3.1Authors as a proportion of staff13
3.2Data and process management context14
3.3Regulatory and compliance issues arising from spreadsheet authoring.15
4Findings – spreadsheet deployment17
4.1Extent of sharing17
4.2Means of sharing and versioning.18
4.3Web-based spreadsheet tools.19
4.4Approaches to protecting intellectual property.20
4.5Satisfaction with the protection of intellectual property.21
4.6Overview of spreadsheet management in place21
5Findings – guidelines and regulation23
5.1Reasons for the lack of formal management of shared spreadsheets.23
5.2Other problems with spreadsheet use in respondent’s company.24
5.3Potential for NAFEMS involvement24
6Discussion of spreadsheet usage25
6.1Training and discipline for spreadsheet authors25
6.2Determine the extent of spreadsheet usage and assess the risk25
6.3Dealing with shared spreadsheets using advanced Excel features25
6.4Dealing with shared spreadsheets using an SDM solution26
6.5Dealing with shared spreadsheets using a model deployment platform27
6.6The evolving scene of spreadsheet technology28
9Glossary of Acronyms33
10Professional simulation engineer competencies35



Document Details

AuthorBartholomew. P
AudiencesManager Analyst Developer
Date 21st February 2022


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