Easy-to-follow video tutorials help you learn software, creative, and business skills.Become a member

Collecting the appropriate data

From: Excel 2007: Creating and Managing Invoices

Video: Collecting the appropriate data

When you create a data management and invoice creation system, you need to be sure the workbook tables that store your data are designed properly. The rules database designers follow when they create their tables apply directly to this type of system. So I'll summarize those rules here. First, every table you create should focus on a single business object and contain facts about that object only. For example, a project's table like the one I have here could contain the Projects ID number, the Project Name, Customer ID number, who assigned you to the project, the Start Date, the End Date, and any comments you have in the project.

Collecting the appropriate data

When you create a data management and invoice creation system, you need to be sure the workbook tables that store your data are designed properly. The rules database designers follow when they create their tables apply directly to this type of system. So I'll summarize those rules here. First, every table you create should focus on a single business object and contain facts about that object only. For example, a project's table like the one I have here could contain the Projects ID number, the Project Name, Customer ID number, who assigned you to the project, the Start Date, the End Date, and any comments you have in the project.

Next, no table should contain, what's called a repeating group. An example of a repeating group appears here in this second outline. I have the Project ID and Project Customer Name and then I have Project1ID and Project2ID. If you try to track a customer's projects on the same table row, you must create table columns where you can record each of the projects. Suppose you set aside two columns as I did here, but the customer wants to hire you for a third project. Obviously, you don't want to delete an existing project reference and it would be impractical to add a new table column every time a customer hired you for a new project.

In fact, there is no good solution for tracking multiple items using repeating groups. Instead, I'll show you how to manage that data by creating separate tables and combining them. Also, every table should have a column that contains a unique value. The best type of value you can use is an arbitrary number that's incremented for each new row. This project's table, for example, assigns the first project the identifier 101, the second 102 and so on. The unique value is called a key because it distinguishes one table row from all other table rows.

If you've ever received the catalog in the mail and ordered an item by phone or over the web, you're probably asked for the customer number that was printed on the label. That number is your unique identifier. It goes with you whether you change addresses, phone numbers or even your name. Finally, it's good practice to give every table column a descriptive name, preferably one that includes the name of the table or an obvious abbreviation. For example, this project's table could include field such as Project ID, Project Name, Project Customer and so on.

If you see the field names used outside the project's table, you know that they came from that table. Designing usable tables for an invoice tracking system isn't difficult, but some of the guidelines can seem a little counterintuitive at first. If you follow the practices I've described above and use the tables in the sample workbook as a guide, you'll have no trouble creating an efficient, extensible system.

Show transcript

This video is part of

Image for Excel 2007: Creating and Managing Invoices
Excel 2007: Creating and Managing Invoices

17 video lessons · 7746 viewers

Curt Frye
Author

 

Start learning today

Get unlimited access to all courses for just $25/month.

Become a member
Sometimes @lynda teaches me how to use a program and sometimes Lynda.com changes my life forever. @JosefShutter
@lynda lynda.com is an absolute life saver when it comes to learning todays software. Definitely recommend it! #higherlearning @Michael_Caraway
@lynda The best thing online! Your database of courses is great! To the mark and very helpful. Thanks! @ru22more
Got to create something yesterday I never thought I could do. #thanks @lynda @Ngventurella
I really do love @lynda as a learning platform. Never stop learning and developing, it’s probably our greatest gift as a species! @soundslikedavid
@lynda just subscribed to lynda.com all I can say its brilliant join now trust me @ButchSamurai
@lynda is an awesome resource. The membership is priceless if you take advantage of it. @diabetic_techie
One of the best decision I made this year. Buy a 1yr subscription to @lynda @cybercaptive
guys lynda.com (@lynda) is the best. So far I’ve learned Java, principles of OO programming, and now learning about MS project @lucasmitchell
Signed back up to @lynda dot com. I’ve missed it!! Proper geeking out right now! #timetolearn #geek @JayGodbold
Share a link to this course

What are exercise files?

Exercise files are the same files the author uses in the course. Save time by downloading the author's files instead of setting up your own files, and learn by following along with the instructor.

Can I take this course without the exercise files?

Yes! If you decide you would like the exercise files later, you can upgrade to a premium account any time.

Become a member Download sample files See plans and pricing

Please wait... please wait ...
Upgrade to get access to exercise files.

Exercise files video

How to use exercise files.

Learn by watching, listening, and doing, Exercise files are the same files the author uses in the course, so you can download them and follow along Premium memberships include access to all exercise files in the library.


Exercise files

Exercise files video

How to use exercise files.

For additional information on downloading and using exercise files, watch our instructional video or read the instructions in the FAQ.

This course includes free exercise files, so you can practice while you watch the course. To access all the exercise files in our library, become a Premium Member.

Join now "Already a member? Log in

Are you sure you want to mark all the videos in this course as unwatched?

This will not affect your course history, your reports, or your certificates of completion for this course.


Mark all as unwatched Cancel

Congratulations

You have completed Excel 2007: Creating and Managing Invoices.

Return to your organization's learning portal to continue training, or close this page.


OK
Become a member to add this course to a playlist

Join today and get unlimited access to the entire library of video courses—and create as many playlists as you like.

Get started

Already a member?

Become a member to like this course.

Join today and get unlimited access to the entire library of video courses.

Get started

Already a member?

Exercise files

Learn by watching, listening, and doing! Exercise files are the same files the author uses in the course, so you can download them and follow along. Exercise files are available with all Premium memberships. Learn more

Get started

Already a Premium member?

Exercise files video

How to use exercise files.

Ask a question

Thanks for contacting us.
You’ll hear from our Customer Service team within 24 hours.

Please enter the text shown below:

The classic layout automatically defaults to the latest Flash Player.

To choose a different player, hold the cursor over your name at the top right of any lynda.com page and choose Site preferencesfrom the dropdown menu.

Continue to classic layout Stay on new layout
Exercise files

Access exercise files from a button right under the course name.

Mark videos as unwatched

Remove icons showing you already watched videos if you want to start over.

Control your viewing experience

Make the video wide, narrow, full-screen, or pop the player out of the page into its own window.

Interactive transcripts

Click on text in the transcript to jump to that spot in the video. As the video plays, the relevant spot in the transcript will be highlighted.

Are you sure you want to delete this note?

No

Your file was successfully uploaded.

Thanks for signing up.

We’ll send you a confirmation email shortly.


Sign up and receive emails about lynda.com and our online training library:

Here’s our privacy policy with more details about how we handle your information.

Keep up with news, tips, and latest courses with emails from lynda.com.

Sign up and receive emails about lynda.com and our online training library:

Here’s our privacy policy with more details about how we handle your information.

   
submit Lightbox submit clicked
Terms and conditions of use

We've updated our terms and conditions (now called terms of service).Go
Review and accept our updated terms of service.