Spreadsheet Data Definition

3 data types used in Excel and Google Sheets spreadsheets

Google Sheet
 Screenshot for Dotdash

Spreadsheet data is information that is stored in any spreadsheet program such as Excel and Google Sheets. The data is stored in cells in a worksheet. Typically, each cell holds a single item of data. The data can be used in calculations, displayed in graphs, or sorted and filtered to find specific information.

Types of Data

Spreadsheets contain columns and rows that create a grid of cells. Usually, a single piece of data is entered into one cell. The types of data most commonly used in spreadsheet programs are text, numbers, and formulas.

  • Text (Labels) data usually consist of words that are used for worksheet headings, names, and labels for identifying columns of data. Text data can contain letters, numbers, and special characters such as ! or &. By default, text data is left aligned in a cell.
  • Numbers (Values) data are used in calculations. By default, numbers are right aligned in a cell. In addition to actual numbers, such as 10, 20, 30 and 40. Excel also stores dates and times as numbers, although some spreadsheets treat Dates and Times as a separate data category. Problems can arise if numbers are formatted as text data. This prevents them from being used in calculations.
  • A spreadsheet formula is a mathematical equation that works in combination with data from other cells on the spreadsheet. A simple formula can be used to add or subtract numbers and an advanced formula can perform algebraic equations. Formulas, which include spreadsheet functions, are identified as a separate type of data.