CheckCell is a data debugging tool for Excel that finds errors or suspicious values.
CheckCell is efficient: the current prototype runs in seconds for most spreadsheets. We performed a case study by employing workers via a crowdsourcing platform, and found that CheckCell is effective at finding many data entry errors. In addition, CheckCell automatically found a number of problems (including this one) in the now-infamous Reinhart-Rogoff spreadsheet:
|For example, Norway spent only one year (1946) in the 60-90 percent public debt/GDP category over the total 130 years (1880-2009) that Norway appears in the data. Norway’s economic growth in this one year was 10.2 percent. This one extraordinary growth experience contributes fully 5.3 percent (1/19) of the weight for the mean GDP growth in this category even though it constitutes only 0.2 percent (1/445) of the country-years in this category. Indeed Norway’s one year in the 60-90 percent GDP category receives equal weight to, for example, Canada’s 23 years in the category, Austria’s 35, Italy’s 39, and Spain’s 47.|
CheckCell highlights the offending cell in dark red.
Paper: A technical paper describing CheckCell’s algorithms, CheckCell: Data Debugging for Spreadsheets, appeared at OOPSLA 2014.
|We gratefully acknowledge Microsoft Research’s support of this work with a Software Engineering Innovation Foundation Award.
This material is based upon work supported by the National Science Foundation under Grant No. CCF-1349784.