Designing a good Excel Database quickly: a few tips for increased efficiency

Garcia, C.
Publication language
Date published
13 Jan 2021
How-to / Tutorial / Tips
Data planification & collection, Data quality, Offline databases

This resource was originally published on the CartoBlog in 2021 by CartONG. It was transferred to the IM Resource Portal in May 2021. The CartoBlog will be decommissioned in early 2022.

In the context of a sudden crisis, such as the COVID-19 crisis, there are often a lot of surveys and hence databases that are created and launched in a hurry to assess the populations’ needs and address them quickly in the field. This means that there will be many Excel files being sent around, with different versioning and privacy levels. A component at stake here becomes the size and performance of the database, and the potential analysis file, due to a rather common lack of or the bad quality of the internet connection in the field. The need for it to be sent, reviewed and finalized involves a lot of steps, for which the file should be at its best performance and minimal size.

This tutorial will help you undertake a few changes in your process, in order to improve the performance of your Excel databases and facilitate analysis when you need rapid insights. Implementing these reflexes within your organization may take some time at first since it will force you to think through your whole process but, in the end, you should gain a lot of time. Those changes are simple and easy enough to implement, and it will help your organization harmonize its practices and get more efficient.

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This project was co-funded by the French Development Agency (AFD) and the H2H Network’s H2H Fund, the latter supported by UK aid from the UK government. Nevertheless, the ideas and opinions presented in this document do not necessarily represent those of the H2H Network, UK aid and AFD.