A spreadsheet is the simplest database you can create for your business. A well-planned spreadsheet can be used to track trends and can serve as a storage area for critical information about clients, finances, veterinary care for specific horses, training hours and more.
As your business grows and you invest in specialized software designed for specific purposes, many of the reports that can be generated and exported are converted into spreadsheets.
Knowing how to create a spreadsheet and recognizing the basic components of a spreadsheet are important for tracking information pertinent to your stable.
To get started, open Microsoft Excel.
When the program launches, select “create new spreadsheet” or "blank workbook."
When a new sheet opens, you will see a grid of individual cells. These cells will hold the data you want to capture and eventually analyze.
The grid is divided into columns and rows.
Columns are listed horizontally across the top of the sheet and are identified alphabetically. The columns are used to organize information by category. For example, one column may be designated to hold a person’s first, another the last name, a mailing address, an email address, etc. Other information that may be helpful is the number of horses they own, where you met the person, the individual's birthday and much more.
Information collected in each category must be entered consistently. When you first create the list decide if you will spell out numbers or use numerical categories. Choose how to represent street names, either fully spelled out or abbreviated. Consistency enables you to sort, filter and used advanced features to analyze the data you have collected.
Rows are stacked vertically, one on top of the other, from the top of the spreadsheet to the bottom. Rows are identified numerically. Each row contains the information or data that belongs to one person.
Before creating a spreadsheet, take the time to think through the information you’re most interested in using and how you’ll be using it.
If you’re not familiar with Excel or would like to advance your skills, consider a community education class through your local library or community college. Online resources like lynda.com also offer easy-to-use tutorials in the convenience of your home or office.