IN THIS CHAPTER
Understanding external database files
Getting started using Microsoft Query
Working with external data
Excel has some great analysis and presentation tools, but these tools require data. In many cases, the data that you need is available in an external database. For example, your company may have a database that contains customer information, sales data, and so on. This chapter is an introduction to retrieving data from external database files for use in Excel.
When you work with an Excel workbook, the entire workbook must be loaded into memory before you can begin working. Although loading all the data provides you with immediate access to the entire file and all the data it contains, it also means that you can't work with extremely large amounts of data. Although Excel 2010 supports more than a million rows, actually using that many rows can slow your system to a crawl — even if your system has plenty of memory.
Using the 64-bit version of Excel allows you to work with much larger workbooks. But for extremely large data sets, it's usually more efficient to work with a subset of the data.
When you access an external database file using Excel, you can perform a query to load just a subset of the data into your workbook.
Accessing external database files from Excel is useful in the following situations:
You need to work with a subset of a very large database. ...