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How to manage your data with excel tips

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Excel is without a doubt the go-to software that most people and companies will use for managing data. That being said, ideally, it can be utilised to not only fill up spreadsheets with numbers and names but also as a tool to have easy access to the data that you are looking to manage.

To be able to do this effectively there are multiple tools that the software offers to allow virtually anyone to keep their data on-hand at all times. Here are some of the ways that you can manage data effectively in Excel.

Plan your tables & categories before you start entering data

Creating a format that you are going to apply to all of the workbooks that you have can be a great way to keep track of how data is arranged. Let’s say for instance, the data that you have represents monthly or even daily sales numbers. If you already have a format that forces you to enter the total value, the date, and the concept behind what those sales represent, it is going to be easy for you to look at every single time.

Not only that, but with the use of different formulas and variations, you are going to be able to create different groupings from the same data. Using the query function from Microsoft Excel, for example, you are going to be able to automatically create different charts that show specific sales stats per month or per concept. Essentially we are talking about the same data being used in a variety of different ways.

Validate the data that you have 

When you are collecting data via a survey or questions form a landing page, you could end up saving a whole bunch of data that you don’t need or is not relevant. Being able to filter out information that is incorrect is another form of data management. To be able to spot fake email addresses in Excel, for example, could save you a lot of time when trying to engage in email marketing campaigns or just contact potential clients.

This is going to be something that is very simple. All you need to do is have the list of emails that you need to be checked out in a spreadsheet and apply the validate email address function to the column. Quickly, the program will show pop-ups to indicate when the content written in a cell does not contain the proper email format.

A similar function can be applied to ensure that only valid phone number formats are applied to specific cells. This is going to allow you to see which of the information that you have could be useful. Removing data that isn’t useful is also a quick way to manage the data that you have.

Drop down lists to help in data management 

A favorite feature of intermediate and expert Excel users are the drop-down lists. Commonly referred to as the 1-minute drop-down lists. That is because if you have the data that you need, you can create these lists in under a minute. It is a simple, yet extremely useful way to manage data.

As with pretty much any function in Excel, you are going to need to have the data that you need to create the list already somewhere on the spreadsheet. From there you just need to be in an empty cell click on data validation and then just go, to list. From here you are going to be able to choose what data is going to be part of the list.

You can apply this function to your previously built charts or other parts of the spreadsheet. This can make data entry a much quicker process as the options can already be laid out in front of you. In a couple of clicks, you are going to be able to fill out all sorts of forms.

Data management does not have to be a slow & gruesome process

These are just a few of the many things that can be done on an excel document to be able to properly manage any type of data. As you can see these are just simple steps. Most of them don’t even require that you memorize a formula. Instead, they are accessible directly from the toolbars.

The best way to find the perfect format to manage your data may be to take some time to actually get comfortable with the way that a variety of tools work. That way you can mix and match them to create a spreadsheet that works for your particular needs.

About Ainsley Pavee

ainsleyp@thebusinesswomanmedia.com'

Ainsley Pavee is a New York based financial and business consultant with a focus on assisting female business owners and entrepreneurs overcome hurdles that can hold them back.

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