Every Spreadsheet Needs a Second Opinion

You’ve created an amazing spreadsheet. You feel satisfied and proud, you are confident enough that you even decide to send it to all relevant coworkers. One minute after hitting ‘send’ though, a colleague is standing beside your desk, pointing out a devastating mistake. A mistake that could have been avoided.

Excel Guidelines for Professionals - No 17 :: Every Spreadsheet Needs a Second Opinion :: PerfectXL

There are two reasons why even the most beautiful piece-of-art spreadsheets contain mistakes or at least risks: Almost everyone becomes blind to mistakes in his or her own work. It doesn’t matter what you do for a living. Whether you paint houses, write books, or you develop spreadsheets you will always have a blind spot towards you own work. When you work on something for a long time, you just don’t see it the same way anymore.

Spreadsheet developers suffer from a unique characteristic: regardless of their skill level, they continue to make the same number of mistakes. Why is this? This happens because someone who is a better developer will automatically try to resolve more complicated issues. Complicated issues call for more complex spreadsheets. Complex spreadsheets contain more risks and errors, simple really.

Have Your Spreadsheet Checked

Our conclusion and advice to you is this, always have your spreadsheet checked by someone else. A second opinion costs some time, but trust us, it’s worth the effort. The most obvious choice for a second opinion is to ask a coworker to check your spreadsheet, but this solution is time-consuming and error-prone. Without the proper tooling they often still miss crucial issues, and you still have no guarantee of the quality of the spreadsheet.

This is why we made PerfectXL

PerfectXL was made to solve this exact issue. With our tool, the exhausting process of going through line after line of formulas, of trying to understand immensely complicated spreadsheets, of putting your own neck on the line as you stand for the validity of your colleague’s work, PerfectXL helps you with all of it. Within minutes you will gain a better understanding of a spreadsheet’s structure, what makes it tick, and you will identify all major issues, and areas where there is room for improvement. Even better than this PerfectXL provides you company with a standard of quality which spreadsheets inherently lack. Make validation feasible, you can try our tooling for free!

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