Manage data in Excel with databases, tables, records and fields

Excel does not have the data management capabilities of relational database programs such as SQL Server and Microsoft Access. However, it can serve as a simple database that meets the requirements of data management.

In Excel, data is organized using rows and columns on a worksheet. The table function makes it easy to enter, edit and manipulate data.

These instructions apply to versions of Excel 2019, 2016, 2013, 2010, and Excel for Office 365.

  1. Database Conditions: Records and Fields
  2. documentation
  3. fields
  4. Field names
  5. Database example
  6. Excel Data Management Tools
  7. Using the entry form
  8. Remove duplicate data
  9. Sort data in Excel

Database Conditions: Records and Fields

A database is a collection of related information stored in one or more computer files. Often data is organized in tables so that it can be easily updated, sorted, corrected and filtered.

A simple database like Excel contains all information about one subject in one table. Relational databases, on the other hand, consist of many tables, each of which contains information on different but related topics.


In database terminology Mention contains any information or data about a particular object in the database. In Excel, each cell on a worksheet contains one piece of information or value.


Every piece of information in a database entry, such as a phone number or house number, is called field † In Excel, individual worksheet cells serve as fields because each cell can hold one piece of information about an object.

Field names

It is extremely important to organize the database so that you can sort or filter the data to find specific information. Adding column headings, also known as field names, makes it easier to enter data in the same order for each record.

Database example

In the image above, each student has a separate row in the table that contains all available information about them.

Each cell in a row is a field with one piece of information. The field names in the header row help to keep the data organized by keeping all data related to a particular topic, such as name or age, in one column for all students.

Excel Data Management Tools

In addition, Microsoft has several data processing tools that make it easier to work with the huge amounts of data stored in Excel spreadsheets and keep them in good working order.

Using the entry form

One of those tools is the data form. You can use it to find, edit, enter, or delete records in tables with up to 32 fields or columns.

The default form lists field names in the order they appear in the table to ensure that users enter the data correctly. Next to each field name is a text field for entering or editing individual data fields.

While it is possible to create custom forms, creating and using a standard form is often all it takes.

Remove duplicate data

A common problem in all databases is data errors. In addition to simple spelling mistakes or missing data fields, problems with duplicate data records can arise as the data table grows in size.

Another Excel data tool can be used to remove these duplicate records – exact or partial duplicates.

Sort data in Excel

Sorting means reorganizing data according to some property, such as sorting a table alphabetically by last name or chronologically from oldest to youngest.

Excel’s sorting options include sorting by one or more fields, custom sorting such as date or time, and sorting by rows, which allow you to reorder fields in a table.

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