BI SIG: “Ten things I hate about spreadsheets – and how to fix them”



  • The Monthly Meeting of the Business Intelligence SIG



    Max Henrion, PhD, CEO of Lumina Decision Systems, Lumina Decision Systems

    Presentation Overview

    “Ten things I hate about spreadsheets – and how to fix them”

    Twenty-five years ago, spreadsheets were a brilliant innovation, the original “killer app” –credited with the emergence in the early 1980s of personal computers as a business tool. But, despite their widespread use in business intelligence, spreadsheets have severe drawbacks for serious business modeling and analytics: They lack transparency, hierarchical organization, structured documentation, flexibility in handling multiple dimensions, adequate treatment of uncertainty, and separation of end-user inputs and internal calculations. Recent studies of show that 50 to 90% of regularly used spreadsheets contain serious errors. I will illustrate these problems and suggest how they can be avoided or cured using a visual modeling environment, such as Analytica, which provides higher-level user-interface metaphors, such as hierarchical influence diagrams, better matched to the way expert modelers think than the spreadsheet grid.


    About the Presenter

    Max Henrion, PhD, CEO of Lumina Decision Systems

    Max Henrion is Founder and CEO of Lumina Decision Systems, in Los Gatos, California, which offers software products, consulting, and training for decision analysis and collaborative modeling. He has led design, development, and marketing of several software tools, including Analytica about which PC Week said “All the problems of the common spreadsheet are solved in Analytica”. In previous incarnations, he has been VP of Decision Technology at Ask Jeeves, founding President of the Association for Uncertainty and Artificial Intelligence, and Consulting Professor at Stanford and Associate Professor at Carnegie Mellon. He is the author or editor of three books, and over sixty articles in decision analysis, decision support, artificial intelligence, and public policy. He has a PhD from Carnegie Mellon, Master of Design from the Royal College of Art, London, and BA from Cambridge University.


    Event Logistics


    Cubberley Community Center
    4000 Middlefield Road, Room H-1
    Palo Alto, CA


    6:30 - 7:00 p.m. Registration / Networking / Refreshments (please arrive before 7:00 p.m.)
    7:00 - 8:30 p.m. Presentation and Discussion


    $15 at the door for non-SDForum members
    No charge for SDForum members
    Please call 408.494.8378 for student memberships
    No registration required

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