Spreadsheets serve a critical role in many organizations. They are used for a variety of tasks, like tracking profitability, analyzing data in scientific research and modeling how complex insurance contracts perform in different scenarios.
Microsoft Excel, the most well-known spreadsheet software, is very popular because it lets users easily visualize and organize data. This allows people who have no technical background to easily analyze data and even build applications. A novice Excel user can create a basic spreadsheet that analyzes data much more rapidly than they could with a statistical language, like R, or a programming language, like Java. While this has revolutionized the way organizations work with data, the fact that users can easily develop and deploy spreadsheets does not come without risks.
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