Experiences in using a contingency factor-based validation methodology for spreadsheet DSS

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The use of spreadsheets has become routine in all aspects of business with usage growing across a range of functional areas and a continuing trend towards end user spreadsheet development. However, several studies have raised concerns about the accuracy of spreadsheet models in general, and of end user developed applications in particular, raising the risk element for users. High error rates have been discovered, even though the users/developers were confident that their spreadsheets were correct. The lack of an easy to use, context-sensitive validation methodology has been highlighted as a significant contributor to the problems of accuracy. This paper describes experiences in using a practical, contingency factor-based methodology for validation of spreadsheet-based DSS. Because the end user is often both the system developer and a stakeholder, the contingency factor-based validation methodology may need to be used in more than one way. The methodology can also be extended to encompass other DSS.


Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)756-761
Number of pages6
JournalJournal of the Operational Research Society
Issue number6
Early online date14 Mar 2007
Publication statusPublished - Jun 2008


  • decision support systems, models, spreadsheets, validation

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