Importance of Spreadsheet Models in 21st Century

The concept of an electronic spreadsheet was first outlined in the 1961 paper "Budgeting Models and System Simulation" by Richard Mattessich.
A spreadsheet program is planned to carry out general computation tasks using spatial relationships rather than time as the primary organizing principle. Many programs designed to perform general computation use timing, the ordering of computational steps, as their primary way to organize a program. A well-defined entry point is used to determine the first instructions, and all other instructions must be reachable from that point. In a spreadsheet, however, a set of cells is defined with a spatial relation to one another. It is often convenient to think of a spreadsheet as a mathematical graph, where the nodes are spreadsheet cells, and the edges are references to other cells specified in formulas. This is often called the dependency graph of the spreadsheet. References between cells can take advantage of spatial concepts such as relative position and absolute position, as well as named locations, to make the spreadsheet formulas easier to understand and manage. Spreadsheets usually attempt to automatically update cells when the cells on which they depend have been changed. The earliest spreadsheets used simple tactics like evaluating cells in a particular order, but modern spreadsheets compute a minimal re-calculation order from the dependency graph. Later spreadsheets also include a limited ability to propagate values in reverse, altering source values so that a particular answer is reached in a certain cell. Since spreadsheet cells formulas are not generally invertible, though, this technique is of somewhat limited value. Many of the concepts common to sequential programming models have analogs in the spreadsheet world. For example, the sequential model of the indexed loop is usually represented as a table of cells, with similar formulas.&nbsp.
Businesses, large or small, depend significantly on spreadsheet models. Small businesses depend more on them due to the basic fact that they do not have enough resources to install and maintain a heavy infrastructure for an ERP system. Therefore, their dependence on spreadsheet models is very large. In comparison, large scale businesses have resource allocation for ERP systems. Not only the large scale organizations have more resources, but they also have a high set of standards maintained by them. This is also one of the reasons that large scale organizations do not rely heavily upon spreadsheet models for perfect decision making. However, these large scale business organizations do use some of the interim formats and their procedures are taken care of using a spreadsheet model. Financial planning is a critical activity for every business irrespective of its age and size. For new enterprises, the preparation of financial projections is integral to the business planning process.&nbsp.

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