Even if you have accustomed your business to depend on Microsoft Excel to predict and plan the values in your business, the excel spreadsheet can as well function as a database. If you already know what you want to achieve and you make a plan to help and accommodate how the program works, then excel can offer you the same results you would have obtained through a database. To use Excel as a database, you need to;

Using Excel’s series features for numbering

The headings will serve the same purpose as the traditional database applications. The spreadsheet columns will contain values for different data categories, and the rows define database record.

After identifying the rows and columns, click near the row header at the farthest right edge of the second row. Toggle to the view tab on the excel spreadsheet ribbon and trace the Freeze panes value. An arrow will appear below it. Click on it and choose ‘freeze top row’. The setting ensures that the header remains visible even as you scroll through the sheet.

Enter data in the spreadsheet

Ensure to fill all the rows that you need with data then use the arrow key to move through the records. After you are done, and you have confirmed that the values are correct, use the enter key to verify the entry.

Put your cursor on the area dividing the row and column headers at the first left corner of the worksheet and click on select all. This will highlight or select all the cells in the spreadsheet. Toggle to the Data tab in the Excel ribbon, trace the Sort & Filter group and choose Filter button.

Access the filtering option menu

Click the arrow on the right of column headers and locate the filtering options menu for the particular column. You can sort the data either in ascending or descending order or use numbers or texts to differentiate the rows that have values that meet the used criteria.

You can filter by conditions for example by setting a particular value then filter only the values greater or lesser than that specific value. Every situation has an AND and an OR option that allows you to use as many criteria as possible and make them mutually exclusive. Click the OK button to filter the selected data, and you will realize that only the rows containing a matching value in the column will be filtered.

Clear filters

This is achieved by clicking on the Filter button at the top right of a specific column header and click on Clear Filter from an individual column to clear the filters without affecting the filters of the rest of the sheet. You can also choose clear all depending on what you want. Your data will be returned to its original state.

Using excel as a database can be a lifesaver when you need it allowing you to locate a specific set of data quickly.

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Jeffrey Elder