Chapter 17. Using the Excel Database Tools

IN THIS CHAPTER

  • Understanding databases

  • Configuring data source names

  • Using Microsoft Query

  • Creating PivotTables

  • Using Goal Seek

  • Working with Scenarios

Today's Information Technology-driven offices have one thing in common: They all tend to have lots of different types of data that need to be processed. Whether it's bookkeeping, trend analysis, sales information, or basically anything, it seems that every bit of data is stored in a database for use and archival purposes.

Although Excel itself isn't really a database (at times it can almost pass for one), its variety of functions and features for working with tabular data makes it a natural complement to one. If you find yourself having to crunch numbers often, you'll find Excel's ability to pull data right from a database to be invaluable. Excel takes advantage of the power of Structured Query Language (SQL), the standard language of relational databases, to build queries that can encompass data spread over multiple relational database tables, join the data, and bring it into an Excel workbook for your use.

In this chapter, you learn how to configure Excel 2008 to use Open Database Connectivity (ODBC) to make a connection to a remote database. You also see how to use Microsoft Query to build the database request and retrieve data into a worksheet. Once there, you see how to make the best use of the data by using PivotTables, Goal Seek, and Scenarios to analyze it.

Finally, this chapter shows you ...

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