January 15, 2023
Tips and Tricks

How to Convert Spreadsheets to Databases?

Learn how to convert your spreadsheets into organized and easily accessible databases. Follow our step-by-step guide on importing data, creating tables, and setting up relationships to streamline your data management process

Arzu Özkan-  Digital Marketing Manager
Arzu Özkan
Digital Marketing Manager

Converting your spreadsheets into a database can be a great way to organize and access your data more efficiently. By creating tables, establishing relationships, and importing data, you can streamline your data management process and make it easier to find the information you need.

Here's a step-by-step guide on how to convert your spreadsheets into a database:

  • Gather your spreadsheets: Collect all of the spreadsheets you want to convert into a single location. This will make it easier to import the data into your new database.
  • Import your data: Once you've chosen your database management system, you can import your data from the spreadsheets. Most systems have an import wizard that will guide you through the process.
  • Create tables: Once your data is imported, you'll need to create tables to organize it. Each table should correspond to a specific aspect of your data, such as customers, products, or orders.
  • Establish relationships: To make it easier to find the information you need, you'll need to establish relationships between the tables. For example, you might create a relationship between a customers table and an orders table so that you can easily find all of the orders for a specific customer.
  • Create different data views: Once your database is set up, you may want to create different views of your data to make it easier to find the information you need. For example, you could create a view that shows all customers in a specific region or all orders for a specific month.
  • Share your data with your teammates and control permissions: You can share your data with your teammates and control the permission to access it. You can set permission levels for different users, such as read-only or full access, to ensure that your data is secure and only accessible by the right people.
  • Track all history: Having the ability to track all history of the data can be helpful in case of auditing or troubleshooting. By tracking all the changes and modifications made in your database, you can easily identify any errors and make sure that your data is accurate.
  • Quick reporting: With the ability to create quick reports, you can easily get an overview of your data and identify any trends or patterns. This can be helpful for making business decisions and identifying areas for improvement.
  • Automatically Backup Your Data: Automatically backing up your data is a critical aspect of maintaining the integrity and availability of your database, it involves creating a copy of your data and storing it in a separate location, so that it can be recovered in case of a disaster, such as a hardware failure, power outage, or human error.

By following these steps, you'll be able to convert your spreadsheets into organized and easily accessible databases. This will help you to streamline your data management process and make it easier to find the information you need.


Now, let's investigate all of them step by step and learn how it works.

Gather Your Spreadsheets

Gathering your spreadsheets is an important first step in converting them into a database. This process involves collecting all of the spreadsheets you want to convert into a single location. This will make it easier to import the data into your new database. It is also a good idea to review the spreadsheets and make sure that they are up to date and in the same format. This will save you time when you're ready to import the data and will ensure that your new database is accurate. Additionally, it is recommended to take note of any specific columns or data you would like to import, this will help you to create the table structure in your database more efficiently.

Import Your Data

Importing your data is the next step after gathering and organizing your spreadsheets. This process involves taking the data from your spreadsheets and transferring it into your chosen database management system. Most systems have an import wizard that will guide you through the process. This wizard will typically ask you to select the file that you want to import, choose the appropriate delimiter or format, and select the table where you want to import the data. It's important to double-check and verify the data during the import process to ensure that everything has been imported correctly and there is no missing or duplicate data. Once the data is imported, you can begin creating tables and establishing relationships to organize and access your data more efficiently.

Create Tables

Creating tables is an essential step in converting your spreadsheets into a database. Once your data is imported, you'll need to create tables to organize it. Each table should correspond to a specific aspect of your data, such as customers, products, or orders. The process of creating tables will depend on the database management system you're using, but it typically involves specifying the table name, the columns, and their data types. It is important to choose meaningful names for your tables and columns to make it easy to understand and work with the data. Once the tables are created, you can start adding data to them and establishing relationships between them to make it easier to find the information you need. Additionally, consider adding constraints and indexes to optimize the performance and integrity of the tables.

Establish Relationships

Establishing relationships between tables is an important step in converting your spreadsheets into a database. This process involves creating links between different tables in your database to make it easier to find the information you need. For example, you might create a relationship between a customers table and an orders table so that you can easily find all of the orders for a specific customer. This can be done using foreign keys, which are columns that reference a primary key in another table. By establishing these relationships, you can ensure that your data is consistent and accurate. Additionally, it will make it easier to navigate through your data and retrieve the information you need. In some cases, you may need to establish more complex relationships, such as many-to-many relationships, which involve a junction table to connect two tables. The process of establishing relationships will depend on the database management system you're using, but it should be straightforward once you have your tables set up.

Create Different Data Views

Creating different data views is a great way to organize and access your data more efficiently. This process involves creating specific subsets of your data, based on specific criteria, to make it easier to find the information you need.For example, you could create a view that shows all customers in a specific region or all orders for a specific month. This can be done by using filters. Creating different data views can also be useful for different teams or users that have different needs for the data. For example, a marketing team may need to see data in a specific way, while a sales team may need to see data in a different way.

Additionally, views can also be helpful for security and access control, by limiting the visibility of certain data to specific users or roles. The process of creating different data views will depend on the database management system you're using. Retable typically involves Grid views, List views, Kanban views, Chart views and Calendar views to specify the criteria for the view and then save the query for future use.

Share Your Data with Your Teammates and Control Permissions

Sharing your data with your teammates and controlling the permission to access it is an important aspect of managing your database. With the right permissions in place, you can ensure that your data is secure and only accessible by the right people.

The process of sharing your data and controlling permissions will depend on the database management system you are using. Typically, you can assign different levels of access to different users or groups, such as viewer, editor or full access. You can also assign specific permissions to certain tables or views, allowing certain users or groups to add, edit, or delete data. Additionally, you can also set up roles and groups that can be used to assign a set of permissions to multiple users at once.

It is also possible to set up external access to your database, for example, by using a web interface or an API, but this should be done with caution and proper security measures in place.

By sharing your data and controlling permissions, you can ensure that your data is secure, and that your team can access the information they need to do their jobs effectively.

Track All History

Tracking all history of the data is an important aspect of maintaining the integrity of your database. This process involves keeping a record of all changes and modifications made to the data, such as new entries, updates, and deletions. This can be helpful in case of auditing or troubleshooting.

By tracking all history, you can easily identify any errors or discrepancies that may have occurred, and ensure that your data is accurate. It can also be helpful for compliance and regulatory requirements. Additionally, it can also be useful for auditing purposes, as it can provide a clear history of the data for a specific period of time. It's important to note that tracking all history may require additional resources and storage, therefore, it's important to evaluate the trade-offs and to decide on the level of history you want to track based on your needs.

Quick Reporting

Quick reporting is a feature that allows you to easily get an overview of your data and identify any trends or patterns. This can be helpful for making business decisions and identifying areas for improvement.

A quick reporting feature typically includes the ability to create and run pre-defined or ad-hoc reports, which can be exported to different formats. It also includes the ability to customize the reports, by selecting the columns, filters, sorting, and aggregations.

Quick reporting can be integrated into your database management system, or it can be implemented by using a reporting tool that connects to the database. The process of creating reports will depend on the system or tool you are using, but it typically involves using a graphical user interface (GUI) to build the report.

By incorporating quick reporting into your database management, you can quickly and easily get an overview of your data, identify trends and patterns, and make better decisions based on that information.

Automatically Backup Your Data

Automatically backing up your data is a critical aspect of maintaining the integrity and availability of your database. It involves creating a copy of your data, so that it can be recovered in case of a disaster, such as a hardware failure, power outage, or human error.

It is important to test the backup files regularly to ensure that they can be restored properly, and to have a disaster recovery plan in place. Additionally, it is also important to ensure that the backup files are stored in a secure location and that they are encrypted to prevent unauthorized access.

By automating the process of data backup, you can ensure that your data is protected and can be easily recovered in case of an emergency. This will help you to minimize the risk of data loss and minimize the impact of a disaster on your business.

In conclusion, converting your spreadsheets into a database can be a great way to organize and access your data more efficiently. By following the steps outlined in this guide, you can import your data, create tables, establish relationships, add indices, create different data views, share your data with your teammates and control the permission, track all history and quick reporting. By incorporating these additional steps, you will be able to take full advantage of your new database. This process can help you streamline your data management process, make it easier to find the information you need, and make better decisions. Additionally, it is important to have a robust data backup strategy in place to ensure that your data is protected and can be easily recovered in case of an emergency.

Retable's qualifications in converting spreadsheets to databases make it an ideal solution for businesses that want to streamline their data management process and make it easier to find the information they need. Retable's expertise in database management systems, data modeling, and data integration can help businesses to import their data, create tables, establish relationships, add indices, create different data views, share the data with their teammates and control the permission, track all history, and quick reporting. Additionally, Retable's ability to provide robust data backup solutions can help ensure that businesses' data is protected and can be easily recovered in case of an emergency. By working with Retable, businesses can trust that their data is in good hands and that it will be organized and easily accessible for them.

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