How to Create a Database in Excel

Step 1- Enter Data

The fields in this database are StdID, StdName, State, Age, and Department.

creating a database in excel


Insert the data:

StdID: 1510060,

StdName: Jimmy,

State: Florida,

Student’s Age: 23,

Department: ME

Entering data to create a database


Step 2 – Don’t Leave Any Row Blank

Entering Data Correctly

The database can have neither blank rows nor blank columns.

Step 3 – Fields and Records

All rows are Records.

Explore Two Necessary Terms

All columns are Fields. The headings of the columns are Field Names.

Column called fields

Read More: How to Create Student Database in Excel

Step 4 – Create the Excel Table

Follow the steps:

  • In the Insert tab, click Table.

Create the Excel Table

  • In Create Table select $B$4:$F$10.
  • Check My table has headers.

The table is created.

Create the Excel Table

Filter data by clicking the drop-down arrow for the column you want to filter.

Step 5 – Use Database Tools

Database tools improve data analysis and interpretation.

Step 6 – Expand the Database

Add more fields and records to your database.

Step 7 – Complete Database Formatting

To format cells in a database, use Cell StylesFormat As Table or Format Cells. Custom Number Format is also an option.

Create a Searchable Database in Excel


  • Select F5 and enter the following formula.
=FILTER(C5:C10,ISNUMBER(SEARCH(Database!C5,C5:C10)),”Not Found”)

Formula Breakdown:

SEARCH function→ searches for a value.

ISNUMBER function→ returns TRUE if the output of the SEARCH is a number and False if it isn’t.

FILTER function→ filters the output value.

How to Create a Searchable Database in Excel

  • Press ENTER and use the Fill Handle tool.
  • Your output is displayed:

  • Select C4, go to the Data tab >> Data tools >> Data Validation.

  • In the Data Validation dialog box, select Settings >> List in the Allow section >> enter your Filtered cell in the Source box and enter the following formula:

Data validation box

  • In the Error Alert tab, uncheck the box Show error alert after invalid data is entered.
  • Click OK.

error alert

  • A searchable database is created.

Created a Searchable Database

Read More: How to Create a Library Database in Excel

Create a Database that Updates Automatically in Excel


  • Select all the data. Go to the Insert tab >> select PivotTable >> From Table/Range.

How to Create a Database in Excel That Updates Automatically

  • A Pivot Table will be created.
  • Select the columns you want to update.

PivotTable Fields

  • Right-click any cell and  Refresh. The Pivot Table will automatically update.

Read More: How to Create a Client Database in Excel

Create a Relational Database in Excel


  • Select the entire range Dataset2.

How to Create a Relational Database in Excel

  • Go to the Insert tab >> PivotTable >> From Table/Range.

Creating PivotTable

  • Go to another sheet Dataset1, here, and create a table.

Note: You can use CTRL + T to create a table.

  • Select the field you want to relate to in Pivot Table. Designation and Salary from two different worksheets were selected here.

  • In the PivotTable Fields, choose All and click CREATE.

  • A relational database will be created.

Created Relational Database

Practice Section

Practice here.

Practice Section

Download Practice Workbook

Download the following workbook and practice.

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Kawser Ahmed
Kawser Ahmed

Kawser Ahmed is a Microsoft Excel Expert, Udemy Course Instructor, Data Analyst, Finance professional, and Chief Editor of ExcelDemy. He is the founder and CEO of SOFTEKO (a software and content marketing company). He has a B.Sc in Electrical and Electronics Engineering. As a Udemy instructor, he offers 8 acclaimed Excel courses, one selected for Udemy Business. A devoted MS Excel enthusiast, Kawser has contributed over 200 articles and reviewed thousands more. His expertise extends to Data Analysis,... Read Full Bio

  1. Hi Kawser

    Ofcourse you can use excel as database, but the strength of joining 2 or more fields in separate tables is really in the database model. Also using 2 million rows in a table is to slow in excel.
    But maybe i’m on the advantaged side, as i know both programs very well.

    If you can prove that i’m wrong i’ll be very interested.

    • Nope, Jan. You’re absolutely right. Excel can be used as a database when your database is not heavy and need a small load of query on it.

  2. Thank you so much Dr. Kawser!


  3. Very good, thanks

  4. Hi Dr.Kawser,
    We have a very large excel file We would like to treat it as a database by using queries.SO I read we need to connect MS access to treat Excel as DB to connect using DB connector.
    Is there any alternative to not use MC Access.

  5. hi I am trying to create a database with patients information where I can open a stats sheet and by entering maybe the patients registration number I can maybe press ctrl +m and pull the other information that pertains to the patient from the database can u help please

  6. Reply
    Ashley Epps-Smith Sep 13, 2021 at 8:08 PM

    I have raw data with titles and need to turn into a database. The data has patient addresses, emails and phone numbers. can you advise on how you assisted Sherry?

  7. Thank very much
    I need this note so that I can print it out

    • Hello Joseph Jabatie,

      You are welcome. You can get the notes or Excel workbook from the Download section.


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