Eusprig 2008 report

Another very good conference, and with good attendance (about 60 people I think).

I won’t go through all the papers as I’m sure they will get themselves on-line in due course.

Allied Irish Bank did a presentation about what they did to bring their spreadsheet usage under control. Most financial institutions wouldn’t even own up to having spreadsheets, never mind having a spreadsheet problem. So the AIB openness is very welcome. Having suffered from a monumental spreadsheet control blunder a few years ago is a factor in that. I reckon they are probably leading the field in spreadsheet control now.

Jamie Chambers did a talk on another End User Computing control project. Its always interesting to hear the challenges of real world projects in this area. These two papers between them provide most of the framework needed to start an EUC control project, and some great snippets of things to ensure and things to avoid.

Dick M did a talk on his approach to developing and delivering spreadsheet based systems. Which had a good focus on longevity and ease/lack of maintenance.

Brian Bishop gave a good talk about their work recording how people test workbooks. David Colver talked about the amount of internal checks some of the different modelling consultancies include. The results varied enormously.

This year there were 2 tracks, and speakers had longer slots. I liked the longer slots, but didn’t like having to choose between academic and commercial. I have always enjoyed the inventiveness and originality of the academic papers. Even if some of it is completely unimplementable. I chose to stick on the commercial track, so I’ll just have to read about the latest blue sky academic thinking.

We found a great late night bar in Greenwich which was handy as the pubs mainly shut at 11, quaint, but frustrating. 2 am is far more civilised (until the morning of course).

I was thinking this would probably be my last Eusprig, but actually the atmosphere was quite lively with plenty of providers of spreadsheet services in attendance. Not too many potential customers, but it was good to chat with others operating in the same field. So I may well be up for next year, may even submit a paper.

Did you go?



5 Responses to “Eusprig 2008 report”

  1. jonpeltier Says:

    “I have always enjoyed the inventiveness and originality of the academic papers. Even if some of it is completely unimplementable.”


  2. Don Price Says:

    I thoroughly enjoyed this year’s, perhaps more than previous ones. This is because I could relate to the papers I listened to. I didn’t do the academic track, as they are usually over my simple head, but have read them in the Proceedings. Most are still over my head!
    I suggested to Brian Bishop that he thinks about putting his clicking tool up as an audit tool,, as it could be useful in some circumstances for monitoring where auditors have checked or not checked, he said he’ll think about it.
    My favourite was the AIB – both brave in admitting and brave in presenting a good project.
    All in all, an excellent confernce and i will try (subject to HMRC letting me) go again next year.
    I loved Grenville’s apology in the Proceedings about the “new” website…..
    Very pleased you may be there again next year!

  3. Marcus Says:

    Sorry I missed it – just started a new contract which made getting the time off a little difficult. I’m looking forward to reading some of the papers and slides, in particular AIB’s approach. We all know that financial institutions have ‘issues’ with managing spreadsheets, it’s encouraging to see one of them come out and say; ‘this is how we approached the problem’.

    Cheers –

  4. Simon Says:

    Jon – “LOL” – me too sometimes!

    Don – the website is a sore point, and I wouldn’t agree with Grenvilles view of the cause.
    I hope Brian will release something, we did discuss it in the pub.

    Marcus I thought you had hinted you may be going, and I thought you had been quiet for a while. Congrats on the new contract, especially in the current climate.

    AIB and Jamie were very good presentations.

  5. Doug Glancy Says:

    Simon, if links become available for some of these, it would be great to hear about them here if you are able. I’ve googled a bit and haven’t seen anything yet.

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