Excel SQL Questions Answered

10 Excel SQL Questions Answered

Many businesses use Microsoft’s tabular data management tool, Excel, for a variety of practices. While you might understand the basics of using Microsoft Excel to make simple workbooks, you might not know how to make the most of it and use some of the more complicated solutions that the program offers like Excel SQL queries.

There are many innovative ways to use Excel for business. As leading Excel support and services providers, the team at The Excel Experts know this tool inside out and the many uses that go beyond simple data storage. So, we’ve put together this list of common Excel SQL questions and answers.

In this blog post, you’ll learn more about SQL and how it can be used in conjunction with Microsoft Excel to make the most of your data. We’ll also cover similar solutions like SQL server databases and MS Access, as well as how to run SQL queries that allow you to quickly access and filter data in Excel.

what is sql

What Is SQL?

One of the most common questions for anyone who isn’t skilled in using Excel and managing their data digitally is ‘what is SQL?’.

This is a vital query, as you need to understand the terminology before learning how you could use it to improve your organisation and become an Excel power user.

SQL stands for Structured Query Language and is a programming language used to help you manage your data and create rules in your database.

The SQL language can be used in a wide range of database programmes, including Excel as we’ll cover later. As such, it is a common tool that anyone who wants to learn more about managing a relational database or a cloud-based SQL Server database needs to understand. 

what are sql queries

What Are Excel SQL Queries?

SQL Queries is an add-in option that allows users to incorporate SQL into Excel. The two solutions are separate, as Excel has its own programming language, Visual Basic for Applications (VBA).

The add-in allows users to create, manage and run SQL queries, which are similar to formulas, directly in Excel workbooks.

This enables users to manage data in Excel more effectively. It also allows you to link your Excel data to external data sources and save time on tasks such as importing information. You should also explore the data connection wizard to import external data.

Similarly, you can set up SQL database credentials to access data outside your SQL server database if you’re using this instead of an Excel database.

Benefits Of Using Excel SQL

 What Are The Benefits Of Using Excel SQL?

There are many benefits of using SQL in Excel. The most obvious benefit is that it allows you to quickly and easily access data in your Excel workbooks.

You can also use SQL to filter data, create reports and improve the performance of your Excel workbooks. Additionally, by using SQL within Excel, you can avoid the need to purchase and learn a separate database management tool.

Other benefits of using Excel SQL include:

  • With SQL in Excel, you won’t have to spend time moving your data into a different tool or system
  • You can use all the solutions in Excel and incorporate additional data management features with SQL into your Excel file
  • With SQL, you can link your existing Excel workbooks to larger SQL enabled programs
  • Excel is accessible and easy to use, so using SQL in Excel can allow you to practice data management before using expensive and complicated data management tools

There are plenty of other benefits to using SQL in Excel that will be specific to your organisation and market sector, but these are some of the generic benefits of using SQL in Excel.


How Do I Create a SQL Query In Excel?

Creating an Excel SQL Query is easier than you might think. First, you need to choose an existing workbook or create a new one and add data.

Once the workbook is ready and you want to start using SQL, you can go to the ‘data’ tab at the top of your Excel document.

Then you can click on ‘queries and connections’, which is a button in the middle of the screen. This will open a panel on the side of your document, which will contain your query and connection add-ins. 

Using your prefered SQL add-in, you can then start using the programming language in Excel or import data from another SQL database.  

How Do I Convert Excel To a SQL Database

How Do I Convert Excel To a SQL Database? 

While you can use Excel as a database, the tool does have some limitations. It can often be challenging to manage large amounts of data in an Excel workbook. As such, many organisations tend to use other forms of database in conjunction with Excel.

An SQL database is any database that uses this language to manage and report on its data. If you want to convert your Excel workbook into an SQL database, there are many online tools that can help you migrate your information over quickly and easily.

Many of these tools are provided by Microsoft, the company that produces Excel, so you can be confident that they will work effectively and not corrupt any of your precious data.

SQL vs MySQL vs Excel vs MS Access

There are many other tools that are similar to Excel and SQL, including MySQL and Microsoft Access. These tools can be used in conjunction with Excel or instead of the program.

Here are some of the frequently asked questions about these tools and the answers, so you can learn more about using these tools and which ones will work best for your organisation and its unique needs.  

difference between SQL and MySQL

What Is The Difference Between SQL and MySQL?

SQL and MySQL might sound similar, but they’re actually very different. While SQL is a programming language, MySQL is a database management system.

MySQL uses SQL but offers a range of solutions similar to those provided by Excel. It is open-source software that allows users to easily create and manage their own database.

mysql vs excel

Why Use MySQL Over Excel?

As mentioned already, MySQL offers some of the same features as Excel, such as the ability to retrieve data and manage it in a tabulated document.

The main difference between MySQL and Excel is that MySQL is designed to use SQL, whereas Excel can incorporate the programming language but doesn’t do so as standard.

Also, MySQL is a complete database management system, whereas Excel is more useful for data storage and analysis using graphs and visualisations like a pivot table.

MySQL has many advantages over Excel for anyone who wants to set up a database, including the ability to store and manage larger volumes of data.

In comparison, MySQL could be considered a better solution for anyone who wants to make a large database. However, using Excel and incorporating SQL could be an ideal workaround for business leaders who want to experiment with SQL or make smaller databases using a tool they already understand.

excel sql uses

Can SQL Replace Excel?

An SQL database can be used in place of Excel, as it will offer functions that Excel can’t, such as the ability to handle large volumes of data and innovative data management features.

However, Excel has many benefits too, and the tool’s primary function is to allow the data analysis and storage of small amounts of information.

An SQL database will never replace Excel in that respect, but the two tools can be used by businesses to analyse and manage their data.

Also, Excel can be used in conjunction with an SQL database to allow you to experiment with new ways to manage your data and make it work for you.

Should I Learn Excel or SQL? 

Selecting the right tool to learn about can be a challenge, mainly as there are so many different options out there to choose from.  

As this article shows, Excel and SQL are very different and can be used in very different ways. As such, it could be worth learning both skills and combining them to make the most of your Microsoft tools and learning how to run a database and manage your corporate information.

sql vs microsoft access

SQL vs Microsoft Access 

Another tool that is perhaps more similar to SQL is Microsoft Access. We’ve already compared Excel vs Access and how you can use both tools in a previous post, so now we’re going to briefly explore the difference between SQL and Access. 

Access is Microsoft’s database program, and it is an excellent tool for beginners who want to learn about database creation and management.  

SQL is a complex programing language, so it is more challenging to learn and implement. As such, if you want to start learning about databases, Access could be an ideal place to start.

There are, however, some key differences between Access and SQL:

  • SQL connects to many different types of databases and can be used on any platform.
  • Access is designed for Microsoft products and requires the use of Windows. The way the data is processed in SQL is standardised, whereas Access allows you to create a variety of custom tools to help you manage your data.
  • SQL is open-source and available across a range of different programs, but Access is exclusively used within Microsoft products.

Summary: Using SQL Queries In Excel

Overall, SQL queries can be helpful when you’re using Excel as a database and can save you time and effort. Like VBA, SQL can take a lot of time and effort to learn and fully understand.

Check out our blog to learn more about Excel, learn new skills and stay up to date on the latest uses for this innovative and user-friendly software solution.  

If you’re not skilled in using Excel, SQL or technology in general, then you can work with the team here at The Excel Experts to build a solution that works for you.  

We offer Excel consultancy and Excel support packages, so you can get tailored advice from our team, which specialise in using Excel and the Microsoft 365 suite of products.

If you’d like to find out more about how we can help you to use Excel to its fullest and make the most of it for your organisation, then feel free to get in touch.

Contact us on 0800 772 3782 or by email at info@theexcelexperts.com to find out more about our services and how you can make the most of them today.

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