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Data Definition


Definition: Data is information that is stored in any spreadsheet program such as Excel.

Data is stored in cells in a worksheet. Generally, each cell holds a single item of data.

In addition to being stored in the spreadsheet, the data can be used in calculations, displayed in graphs, or sorted and filtered to find specific information.

The two types of data most commonly used in spreadsheet programs are text and numbers.

Text data is usually words that are used for worksheet headings, names, and labels for identifying columns of data.

Text data can contain letters numbers, and specialty characters such as ! or &. By default, text data is left aligned in a cell.

Numbers can be used in calculations. By default, numbers are right aligned in a cell.

In addition to actual numbers - such as 10, 20, 30, 40 - Excel also stores dates and times as numbers.

Problems can arise if numbers get formatted as text data. This can prevent them from being used in calculations.

Formulas: a formula is a mathematical equation such as adding or subtracting two numbers.

Formulas, which include spreadsheet functions, are usually considered to be Numbers but they are sometimes identified as a separate type of data.

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