Supporting Spreadsheet Maintenance with Dependency Notification

Sohon Roy, Felienne Hermans, Arie van Deursen

Research output: Chapter in Book/Conference proceedings/Edited volumeConference contributionScientificpeer-review

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Spreadsheets in the industry are used by multiple employees in organizations, and they remain in use for several years. Maintenance of existing spreadsheets is thus common. One of the issues in maintaining spreadsheets is the fact that formulas create cell dependencies, and these dependencies are invisible to users. To address this, dependence tracing techniques have been developed, both commercially and in research. However, these techniques are effort consuming, and are designed as separate activities that force the users to leave the context of editing spreadsheets. As such, these techniques are not suitably supportive for usual spreadsheet maintenance tasks. In this extended abstract, we present our work in progress on a novel approach for notifying users of cell dependencies, integrated into the context of editing spreadsheets. We present a preliminary evaluation of the approach in the form of an exploratory user-study with seven employees of a financial modeling company. Results show that the approach has the potential to support industrial spreadsheet users in the context of spreadsheet maintenance, as indicated by the responses of six out of seven participants.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationIS-EUD 2017 6th International Symposium on End-User Development
Subtitle of host publicationExtended Abstracts
EditorsJaved Vassilis Khan, Iris Soute
Place of PublicationEindhoven
PublisherTechnische Universiteit Eindhoven
Number of pages6
ISBN (Electronic)978-90-386-4317-5
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2017
Event6th International Symposium on End-User Development, IS-EUD 2017 - Eindhoven, Netherlands
Duration: 13 Jun 201715 Jun 2017


Conference6th International Symposium on End-User Development, IS-EUD 2017


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