Microsoft Excel is the most utilized software for creating, managing, and storing different kinds of data in spreadsheets. To effectively use this program’s many functions, including workbooks in Excel, you need to understand the different data types and how they function. In this article, we will discuss the different types of Excel data and their uses.


Types of Excel Data 


Understanding Excel data types is important because they form the foundation of the advanced functions taught in Microsoft Excel training courses. The four major data types in Excel are:




This data type is used to represent numerical values, such as the number of employees, phone numbers of group members, and value of money spent. The number data type also allows you to input percentages, decimals, dates, times, and integers using a workbook in Excel.


In Excel, you can input number data from minimal to substantial values, but you should remember that Excel supports a maximum of fifteen digits in a cell. After the fifteenth digit, Excel removes them and replaces them with zeroes. 




This is the most basic data type in Microsoft Excel. Text data allows you to input characters such as alphabetical, numerical, and special symbols. However, unlike number data, numerical symbols inputted as text data do not support calculations.


Excel allows you to manually switch between text and number data to ensure it operates as you want. However, by default, Excel may categorize figures it doesn’t recognize as text data. To convert numbers stored as text data to number data, highlight the cells or columns. On the ‘Data’ tab, click ‘Text to Columns,’ then click ‘Finish.’ 


To further format the data, highlight the column, hold down ‘CTRL+1’ (or ‘Command + 1’ on a Mac), then select any format you want your number data to appear in.




Logical data types are some of the most powerful tools you can use on the software. Excel displays logical values as either TRUE (or 1, in Boolean value) or FALSE (or 0 in Boolean value). Unlike the previous data types, you cannot manually type any of the basic Logical data into an Excel worksheet. 


Here are the basic Logical Excel functions:


  • AND—used when you want to check if your data meets multiple conditions. You can use it to check if the value in one cell is bigger than those in another.
  • OR—used to compare values or statements in your data that meet a condition. If none of the data matches your conditions, Excel produces a False value. 
  • XOR—short for Exclusive OR, XOR is used when only one argument in your data can be marked as True or False.
  • NOT—used when you want to filter arguments that don’t match your conditions. Arguments that meet your conditions in the data are marked as True, while those that don’t are marked False. These functions will also help you extract duplicates in Excel.




When Excel recognizes a mistake or missing information while processing your data, it outputs ‘Error’ data. For example, if the beginning or end quote is missing in a formula, Excel will display #NAME? and #NUM! for an invalid formula or function.


Linked Excel Data Types


Microsoft Excel also allows you to input data sourced online into your worksheet. These data types can be inputted as ‘Stocks Data’ and ‘Geography Data.’ Both are considered linked data types in Excel. These data types allow you to insert a live value from the stock market or information about geographical locations. The data is sourced from the internet. 


You can only use the ‘Stocks’ and ‘Geography’ data types with a Microsoft 365 account or with a free Microsoft Account.


In Conclusion


Microsoft Excel offers a variety of functions for analyzing data in spreadsheets, and understanding the data types and knowing when to use them is essential for navigating the program. 

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