Summary Report

Summary Report

The Summary Report is the place to start when you are auditing a spreadsheet with Rainbow Analyst. It runs very quickly, and it gives you a set of information (for the whole spreadsheet and for each individual worksheet) that tells you a great deal about how the spreadsheet works, how well-constructed it is, and what are the points you might need to look out for. Particular areas of concern are traffic-lighted in yellow or red.

In the example screenshot above, we can see that:

  • This is a small (254 KB, 4 sheets) self-contained workbook (no external references).
  • It was first created in November 2008 by Mike Shallcross, and updated in July 2012.
  • It does not contain any Visual Basic code (including user-defined functions).
  • One sheet is hidden, and there are some hidden rows in sheet P&L.
  • Sheet BS has a circular reference in cell G31.
  • Sheet TB contains a large amount of data, whereas P&L and BS are mainly calculated.
  • All the sheets are basically well laid out (high average density).
  • Most of the calculations are simple, but there is a long formula in P&L cell G9.

The Summary Report provides all this information in a few seconds, saving possibly hours of work and enabling you to operate an effective triage process, concentrating on those spreadsheets which carry the greatest risk. To help your decision-making, the Summary Report incorporates hyperlinks that you can click to go straight to the circular reference in sheet BS, and the long formula in sheet P&L.

And if you do decide to proceed with more detailed analysis, the report includes a set of comments (cell notes) pointing you to the relevant Rainbow function; one of these comments (about Hidden sheets) has been made visible in this screenshot.

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