User cases & Application

On this page you will find a summation which aims to show the relevance and application of a compare tool based on the user tests we did while developing our spreadsheet comparison tool.

Overview of changes

Our first use case involves a financial worker who wants an overview of the changes made between two versions of a spreadsheet. This could be for a variety of reasons, but is often done to check what has been changed by other people working in the spreadsheet. In many cases other users of the spreadsheet should only adjust data in the spreadsheet, and not formulas or structure. PerfectXL compare groups differences into categories: data, formulas, and structure. These difference groups allow the financial worker to quickly see what has actually be changed in the spreadsheet.

Our findings show PerfectXL Compare,

  • Gives a quick overview of all difference types
  • Reports only relevant information
  • Quickly finds well categorized differences
  • Is accurate
  • Is fast (94% of analysis under 1 second)

Damage Control

Our next use case involves a new secretary which has to use a large, complex spreadsheet models for agendas, hour plannings, and a variety of other in-house functions with the secretary is responsible for. She has been working with a particularly complex model for sometime when it suddenly stops working. The spreadsheet is so complex that it would be impossible to manually find the issue. PerfectXL Compare can be used in this scenario to detect a change between the current model, and a previous working model, so that secretary can easily find and repair the issue.

Our findings show PerfectXL Compare,

  • Has a clear summary with which outliers are quickly spotted
  • Is easy to use so even someone with limited Excel knowledge can use it
  • Is detailed so that every specific change and result can be tracked
  • Is able to handle complex spreadsheets
  • Is efficient in handling very large spreadsheets
  • Can be easily focused on specific changes

Progress Reporting

Our last use case relates to a consultant and Excel guru who spends a lot of time building and developing spreadsheet models for 3rd party clients. The Excel guru wants a tool which helps him to track the changes he is making in a spreadsheet as he develops it, something he can use to report on those steps in a logical way to keep his clients happy, and a tool which helps to keep him honest, and check that he hasn’t changed parts of the model unintentionally. With PerfectXL Compare he can report on and trace changes made as he is building new versions of the model. 

Our findings show PerfectXL Compare,

  • Is accurate keeping the consultant honest
  • It’s fast so that he doesn’t waste time
  • Generates an overview that is clear and can be used as a report
  • Has a good summary so he can quickly check his own work
  • Is user friendly so his client can double check
  • Is standalone so the privacy of the client is protected

Users

These summaries are in part taken from Excel users in TU Delft, Robeco, and a.s.r.