Analyzing Data for Decision Making: Integrating Spreadsheet Modeling and Database Querying

A. Faye Borthick, Gary P. Schneider, Therese R. Viscelli

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Although students begin with a spreadsheet to analyze the effect of a change in credit score cutoff on loan performance on sales, they discover that this approach becomes unwieldy as the analysis becomes more complex. As more attributes from more sheets are required, the spreadsheet solution becomes difficult to implement or audit. The case thus motivates students to develop the database skills of importing the spreadsheet data into a database manager, joining tables, and performing the analysis using database querying. The case requires students to think critically to model the business situation in spreadsheet formulas and database query expressions, structure relationships among the attributes across data tables, and manipulate attributes to achieve the business objective. The case is suitable for courses in accounting systems, managerial accounting, decision making, and database systems. Objective questions are provided for assessing students’ ability to analyze transaction records using both spreadsheet and database tools.
Original languageAmerican English
JournalIssues in Accounting Education
StatePublished - Feb 2017


  • business analytics
  • credit score analysis
  • critical thinking
  • data analytics
  • data reporting
  • decision making
  • querying
  • spreadsheet model


  • Computer Sciences

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