The 20th annual conference of the European Spreadsheet Risk Special Interest Group (http://www.eusprig.org) will be held on July 11 & 12 at The Barrister’s Court, Browns, 82-84 St Martin’s Ln, Covent Garden, London WC2N 4AG, UK.
David Lyford-Smith of the Institute of Chartered Accountants in England and Wales (ICAEW) will review the history of their three “thought leadership” papers on good practice in spreadsheet use and spreadsheet work environments. Anyone involved in spreadsheet training, teaching, and syllabus development will be interested to hear how the process of making them has helped ICAEW to develop its position. David also features in the Friday morning tutorials.
Last year Roger Turner of Wesleyan Assurance Society presented a high-quality paper which described their plan to address EUC risks, which the audience found very relevant. This year he describes the challenges which were faced and how these were overcome. I am particularly looking forward to this practical presentation.
During the year, Paul Mireault of SSMI International invited seasoned Excel developers to participate in a challenge to implement a forecast modelling spreadsheet with four variables – product, region, sector, time. He will report on the different implementation strategies employed. Having tried it myself, I can say you will see some radically different approaches to the challenge! Expect arguments from the attendees that “my way is the best because….” !
Simon Thorne and Jamie Hancock of Cardiff Metropolitan University will present the findings of a case study of spreadsheet use in a higher education institution in the UK. The implications of the results are then considered in terms of accurate reporting to external funding bodies such the funding councils, internal data integrity and internal data efficiencies.
Mária Csernoch of the University of Debrecen, Hungary, will talk about how school pupils can scrape data from web pages rather than type it in for their Excel exercises. Tables and table-like structures on webpages are excellent sources for teaching spreadsheeting by utilizing and developing knowledge-transfer items, presenting various real world problems and solutions, discussing and debugging, and in general, developing computational thinking skills.
Chris R. Roast of Sheffield Hallam University will describe the design development and evaluation of an Excel add-in for interactive visualisation of spreadsheet formulas (EQUS). The development process was one of iterative refinement engaging a initial target audience of mid-teen learners, involving re-design and formative evaluation. The resulting visualisation techniques have been found to be broadly relevant to spreadsheet users beyond the initial target audience.
David Birch and others from Imperial College and Filigree Technologies, London, expose hidden linkage structure by transforming spreadsheets into fine-grained graphs with operators and values as nodes. They propose that researchers should seek techniques to redraw these boundaries to create higher level structures which will more faithfully represent the end-user’s real world/mental model.
Peter Bartholomew of MDAO Technologies Ltd will discuss the thesis that the adoption of the new Dynamic Arrays in Excel within a more professional development environment could replace traditional techniques where solution integrity is important. This will be a useful taster to Charles Williams’ tutorial on Friday morning.
Marc BRAUN of Xcubes argues that a cube-based system offers a structured and scalable approach to modelling, forecasting, reporting and data analysis with little manual intervention once the model is set up. A practical demonstration will be made with XCubes, a Multidimensional Spreadsheet System software package.
Morten Siersted, visiting research fellow at Bath, presents his dissertation on “Does the teaching of spreadsheeting skills have the potential to be a significant global education policy intervention?” Anyone involved in promoting EUC skills will be interested in hearing his views on the relevant ‘ICT for development’ frameworks.
The innovation this year is a pair of tutorials on Friday morning. David Lyford-Smith will be illustrating good spreadsheet structuring by working through Modeloff example problems. Charles Williams of Decision Models Ltd, the Excel MVP, will be explaining Dynamic Arrays in Excel, their advantages and their wrinkles.
I’ll be there!
Register at http://www.eusprig.org