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Validation of Calculations
Wednesday, 22 September 2010

ImageValidation of a calculation is provided by evidence that demonstrates that the calculation is correct. Traditionally this evidence is provided by:

  • Reproduction of a sample calculation from a published calculation reference.
  • Reaching the same answer by an alternate calculation method.
  • Independent checking of a calculation by a colleague.

Here at ExcelCalcs we place a very high value on the validation of calculations. We have added functionality to our website and software to help our users to validate their own calculations and contribute to the validation of calculations in our Repository.

  • Use our XLC software add-in for Excel. Spreadsheet audits show that incorrect cell formulas are a common source of errors in spreadsheet calculations. Without XLC spreadsheets are all too often a list untraceable numbers linked together by hidden formulas. The beauty of XLC is that cell formulas can be automatically rendered into mathematical equations and checked directly against the text book. Your calculations can be presented like traditional engineering calculation sheets so the method of the calculations is obvious to the reader. XLC is a tremendous calculation validation tool.
  • Our XLC calculation template provides three headings at the top of the calculation: Purpose of calculation; Calculation reference and Calculation validation. From the outset of starting a calculation with this template we want you to start thinking about validation.
  • We provide a ‘Forum Link’ from all our download pages. This puts you in direct communication with the calculation author (and the whole ExcelCalcs community). Author’s like to receive comments about their calculations it give them an opportunity to amend, to extend the scope, to add clarifications and to improve their published work. The forum link provides a traceable record of discussions relating to the calculation and shows the full revision history. The forum link is a very useful feature and adds greatly to the quality and validity of calculations hosted in our Repository.
  • Each download page also contains a comment feature. Your endorsements give confidence to other users.
  • Each download page also contains a ratings feature. If you use a calculation and you found it to be good then please tell the rest of the community by rating it. It is a form of independent verification.
  • We display how many times a calculation has been downloaded. If a calculation has been downloaded many times and has picked good ratings and positive comments then this is a good measure of its validity.

Although we do our very best to host valid calculations we cannot offer any guarantees or warranties with calculations hosted in our Repository. However I hope you see that we make our best efforts and offer software tools to validate calculations on the ExcelCalcs website.

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