Difference Between and Excel Database and a Spreadsheet

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Depending upon the task at hand, many people use both Excel databases and spreadsheets. In general, one is not necessarily better than the other, but each one is better suited for different operational tasks.

It’s important to know the differences between these two in order to make the most of Excel.

The Basics

You can use spreadsheets and databases to store and manage data. The difference is how these two store and use the data. When you use a spreadsheet to store data, it stores your data in cells. The cells are then presented in rows and columns. These are easy to add and delete, making a spreadsheet the better choice for the novice Excel user. With a spreadsheet, the user can work with multiple cells using simple formulas.

With an Excel database, on the other hand, the data is stored in tables instead. Each of your tables will have a specific name and a number of columns and rows. Each of these tables is called a record. One record will include a value for each column in that table. With a database, you can build relationships between records tables.

Processing Functions

Spreadsheets and databases offer users a wide range of processing functions. You can use them to manipulate, order, sort, and filter data. However, a database will offer you more options when it comes to working with data, but you must be able to code to use these options. For this reason, those with little or no coding experience choose to use spreadsheets, as they are more user-friendly. In some cases, though, data can only be managed via a database.

Access and Management

Access to a spreadsheet is can be limited to a single user at once. But when you use a database management system, you can grant access to numerous people at the same time. This allows them to use the same data set simultaneously. This allows businesses to get work done much more quickly and efficiently.

These systems will ensure the data is not altered by two people at the same time, which preserves your data’s integrity. This isn’t as easy to ensure when using spreadsheets.

Additionally, presentation can vary between spreadsheets and databases. When you choose a spreadsheet, it allows you to generate both charts and graphs. But with a database, these options will differ by the application you choose to access your data. There are typically more options for presenting data, but these options will require more technical knowledge.

Which is Best?

So, which one is best for you, an Excel database or a spreadsheet? It will, of course, depend upon both the job at hand and your experience. If you are a newbie, a spreadsheet may be a better choice, simply because it is easier to use. If you have more data, though, which needs to be accessed by many users at once, a database is essential.

Only you can decide which is right for you, and your business needs.

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