Database Techniques – Searching

Better hope the wheel on your mouse is greased.

Your client needs to know the property value of that “Ja-fellow Smith” and you’ve got exactly 5 minutes to scroll through a twelve thousand line database containing the surrounding area properties where Mr. Smith usually lays claim. Problem is: like your client, you can’t quite remember Mr. Smith’s first name, it’s been nearly two years since you met the guy (time flies when you’re working – not during the work-day, but according to your lifetime), you know it’s unusual, Jabari maybe, or Janardan, you agree it starts with “JA” because you used a name-memorization tool to relate his name to a Jack in a deck of cards, heck, his name might even be Jack.

So it’s time to knuckle up! You prep your eyes for a few thousand mind numbing names, grab a notepad to jot down property values in the off chance A56 hits a battleship, and adopt a scrolling speed just slow enough to keep yourself from the nagging fear that you might have passed over one of the properties you’re looking for.

Instead, let’s just ask Excel nicely:

Excel, I have a database list of names, properties and property value, I would like the property value of a first name starting with “JA”, and a last name “SMITH”. Example:


Excel will return a numerical value based on column 4 of the database table only for matches starting “JA” and ending “SMITH”.

Don’t believe me? Download our free two minute excel example on the Database Technique: Searching. As always, it’s free, and bound to save you a lot of time and transcription error. We hope these short excel learning tools help make your life easier, and if you think something should be easier in excel, it probably is.

Questions? Send us an email! Have a time-consuming activity you’d like streamlined? We’ll make it a blog.

Join us by subscribing for free email updates and follow us on Twitter.