Analyzing 3 Million Spreadsheets

Felienne Hermans (Delft University of Technology)
Business & Industry
Location: King's Suite
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“Spreadsheets are the glue that keeps this company together” – IT Manager at a large Dutch bank

If you’re talking about data in companies, it will very likely involve spreadsheets. Despite their widespread use for all sorts of company critical tasks, like risk analysis, trading or forecasting, not much is known about how they are built and maintained in real-life.

Over the past few years, researchers at the Delft University of Technology have analyzed the use of spreadsheets, including a case study in which we studied the data and meta data of 3 million spreadsheets from 50 different companies. In this talk we will take you through the wonders of real-life spreadsheets. Spreadsheets from the 90’s that are still in use, spreadsheets that gather data from more than 20 sources, spreadsheets that are used to control gas installations. Spreadsheets that run companies.

Photo of Felienne Hermans

Felienne Hermans

Delft University of Technology

Felienne is a PhD student and an entrepreneur in the field of spreadsheets. Her PhD thesis centers around techniques to extract information from spreadsheets and present that in a visual way, to support users in improving and understanding them. In 2010 Felienne founded Infotron, a start up that uses the algorithms developed during the PhD project to analyze spreadsheet quality for large companies. In her spare time, Felienne volunteers as a judge for the First Lego League, a world wide technology competition for kids.

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