Spreadsheet is a program used to perform calculations in a pre-structured table. In practice, however, the range of applications for such systems is broader. Common products in this area also offer functionalities for the acquisition of data and, based on this, allow functions that go beyond the calculation, such as reading out character strings.
The spreadsheet with rows and columns is an essential part of a spreadsheet. Columns are usually named with letters and rows with numbers. Comparable to the fields in chess, individual cells of the spreadsheet can be clearly identified by a combination of column and row names.
Each cell can hold data in different formats and types, such as numbers, currencies, times or text, up to a certain amount. Due to the unique addressing of the cells, it is thus possible to refer to the content of other cells and functions and to use them for calculations, for example. In this context, one also speaks of cell references. Each cell can be referred to as a variable of a unique data type.
The great advantage of a spreadsheet is the versatility of the application and the link between data management and analysis. Calculations and functions can be applied very easily to the data contained in the spreadsheets. Additional program functions such as copying, tracking or checking formulas and functions allow even laypeople to use spreadsheet software. As a rule, programs available on the market have additional tools, such as crosstab analysis, diagram creation or scenario managers, to support the data analysis.
The open concept of spreadsheets enables a very wide range of applications. This is why the various products are used in almost all areas of business, research and administration. Address data management, product catalogs, financing plans, sales overviews, Mit
Worker planning etc. are just a few examples from a large number of possible fields of application. The controlling tasks are comprehensively supported by spreadsheet software. The aspect of information supply in particular requires the isolation of relevant information from operational application systems on the one hand and its consolidation and analysis on the other. Spreadsheets are flexible tools here because, in addition to common data interfaces, they also enable individual viewing and processing of the data to be analyzed. Additional functions, such as the creation of cross tables, support the - information compression. The data and findings obtained from the analysis can be easily visualized using diagrams and support the presentation of the results obtained.