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Spreadsheet Quality

Spreadsheet Design Concepts Series

Basic design (N-tier)

The core components of most significant models are:

  • The inputs - either manual, system based or a mix
  • Reference data - non model specific data such as interest rates, overhead rates, concrete strength etc
  • Logic - The combination of inputs, reference data and business rules
  • Reports - presentation of the results of the logic element

Sometimes these elements gets combined - that often leads to hard to maintain/adapt models

As well as the core model there should also be a support structure of standard components that ease the working with, maintenance of, and management of the model. These are:

  • Assumptions that underpin the model, eg that inflation stays within a boundary, that results are cyclical etc.
  • WorkbookStructure is an index of each sheet what it does and why its needed
  • Accountability indicate who is responsible for different elements of the model, who checked it for correctness, how and when, and to what level of assurance
  • Revision history should be a fairly high level readable list of changes that have been made over time. The full minute detail of this should be recorded or available in a full source control system, or by differencing two versions. This is more of a management summary.


Upcoming Events:

25 January 2012 - UK Excel Developer Conference - London

Products for sale:


Office 2007 FileSearch replacement logo

New information about the missing FileSearch feature in Office 2007 and details of our pragmatic solution (Current price GBP 30.00)


worksheet password remover logo

Instant Excel worksheet protection remover and password recovery (Current price GBP 15.00)

Classic Ribbon Tab

classic ribbon for office 2007 logo

Add Excel 97/2000/2002/2003 compatible menu structure to Excel 2007
(Current Price GBP 10.00)


Products coming soon:

Link Manager

(Find and control external links in Excel Workbooks)

Due by Q1 2111.

XLAnalyst Pro

(Excel VBA based spreadsheet auditing tool)

Due before the end of 2111.

This page was last reviewed on December 21, 2011

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