Solved Using excel as a database for all-text values

Microsoft Office 2010 home and student
July 6, 2011 at 10:56:17
Specs: Windows XP
I've been asked to organize a large (5,000+) collection of video clips in a searchable format. The person in charge of the videos would prefer to use excel because it's already installed. I'm afraid that given the large number of clips, it would be very difficult to search the collection.

Proposed columns names are: Country name, Themes (aka departmental priorities), Specific Keywords, Date recorded, People, Partner organization, and File name/filepath

I see potential to limit the search by filtering the data before using CTRL+F. However, since there will be multiple keywords for each entry, the filter function will be basically useless for the keyword field, which is the most important one.

MAIN QUESTIONS:
1. Is it possible to do multiple keyword searches using excel? I've looked at articles online, but most examples are for numerical data (inventories, employee numbers etc.), and my data is almost entirely text.

2. Would another program be more appropriate? I've looked at info on Microsoft Access and Filemaker Pro, but I have 0 experience with databases and I'm confused by the terminology.


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✔ Best Answer
July 7, 2011 at 07:58:25
This appears to be something that would be better served in an Access database where you can do queries, etc.

I don't use Access so I can't go into any details, but anything done in Excel would probably have to be custom written VBA code, requiring on-going maintenance, etc.

If I make the assumption that you (and/or your client) don't know how to write/maintain VBA code, then the next logical assumption is that you (and/or your client) would have to learn something new.

As long as you have to learn something, you might as well learn an application that is better suited to the task, namely Access.

Does that make sense?

Click Here Before Posting Data or VBA Code ---> How To Post Data or Code.



#1
July 6, 2011 at 14:09:41
It's possible, here is a template that might get you started:

http://office.microsoft.com/en-us/t...

MIKE

http://www.skeptic.com/


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#2
July 6, 2011 at 14:21:34
There are also FREE alternatives, here is just one:

http://alainlecomte.free.fr/Downloa...

MIKE

http://www.skeptic.com/


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#3
July 6, 2011 at 18:02:56
Could you provide some examples of your data and "multiple keyword searches"?

That would give us a little more to go on.

If you are going to post any data, please click on the following line and read the instructions on how to post data in this forum.

Click Here Before Posting Data or VBA Code ---> How To Post Data or Code.


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#4
July 7, 2011 at 05:42:35
My table was too long for the post, so the columns continue under the **********

COUNTRY 	THEMES			KEYWORDS		DATE
Ghana	  economic growth	agricult., nutrition	24-09-2008
Sudan  	  economic growth	edu., microcredit	24-09-2009
Bolivia	  children youth	edu., nutrition		24-09-2010

*******************************************

PEOPLE - COMP.			INDIVIDUAL PEOPLE	PARTNER ORG.
group - children playing	N/a			SOCIDEV
group - women			N/a			SOCIDEV
individual interview		Melida Gonzales		Vaso de leche

The clips might require more than two keywords- I had to delete some from my examples because they wouldn't fit.

Two example searches:
1) for clips involving agriculture and nutrition in Ghana from the partner organization SOCIDEV.

2) for all stories involving education and nutrition.


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#5
July 7, 2011 at 06:09:13
Two more important points:

1- this is a collection of video clips (raw footage), not a catalogue of mainstream movies, which means the data is far more complex than a simple director/year released/main actors type of thing.

2- there is a *very* large number of video clips (probably in the 5 thousand range and growing), so I think doing searches where you have to tab through every instance of a word like in the usual CTRL+F search would be extremely time consuming.


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#6
July 7, 2011 at 07:58:25
✔ Best Answer
This appears to be something that would be better served in an Access database where you can do queries, etc.

I don't use Access so I can't go into any details, but anything done in Excel would probably have to be custom written VBA code, requiring on-going maintenance, etc.

If I make the assumption that you (and/or your client) don't know how to write/maintain VBA code, then the next logical assumption is that you (and/or your client) would have to learn something new.

As long as you have to learn something, you might as well learn an application that is better suited to the task, namely Access.

Does that make sense?

Click Here Before Posting Data or VBA Code ---> How To Post Data or Code.


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#7
July 8, 2011 at 10:26:29
That makes a lot of sense- and luckily my office already has Access. I'm going to start next week doing a Lynda.com tutorial and take it from there.

Thanks for your help!


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