Six tips for better spreadsheets
Some good advice for better spreadsheets from the distinguished science journal, Nature, (established 1869!) who have tips about the right way and wrong way to use Excel or Google Sheets.
The article Six tips for better spreadsheets opens with a horror story about a list of latitude/longitude
“It was a complete mix, The spreadsheet was produced by citizen-scientists. Some had written the word ‘degrees’, some ‘0’ and some ‘o’; some had used superscripts, some hadn’t; others wrote ‘north’, ‘west’ or neither We’re talking like tens of thousands of rows of data, where every single latitude and longitude was annotated differently. That was the least consistent spreadsheet I’ve ever seen.”Stephanie Labou, University of California, San Diego quoted in Nature
Scientists are more than capable of messing up a spreadsheet. Geneticists have had self-inflicted trouble for years Why Excel causes errors in gene studies and how to fix to the extent that Microsoft has now changed Excel’s text conversion features, see Better text conversion options coming to Excel.
Another example is an economic policy that was based on a faulty Excel workbook, see Excel’s effect on economic policy .
Excel’s effect on economic policy
Better text conversion options coming to Excel
Why Excel causes errors in gene studies and how to fix