Data Organization in Spreadsheets

HAH! This really tickled me. It's a full-on academic paper on how to use spreadsheets not terribly. Read the below summary and tell me if you've found yourself giving exactly this same advice to coworkers, spouses, friends, family:

The basic principles are: be consistent, write dates like YYYY-MM-DD, do not leave any cells empty, put just one thing in a cell, organize the data as a single rectangle (with subjects as rows and variables as columns, and with a single header row), create a data dictionary, do not include calculations in the raw data files, do not use font color or highlighting as data, choose good names for things, make backups, use data validation to avoid data entry errors, and save the data in plain text files.

Thanks, I never need to have that conversation again. And obviously given the recent UK / Excel / Covid issues, this isn't widely-followed advice today.


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