If you routinely track large amounts of information in your business— customer mailing lists, phone lists, product inventories, sales transactions, and so on— you can use Microsoft Excel's extensive list-management capabilities to make your job easier. A list is a table of data stored in a worksheet, organized into columns of fields and rows of records. A list is essentially a database, but because lists are stored in Excel workbooks and not in formatted files created by database programs such as Microsoft Access or Microsoft FoxPro, Microsoft has chosen to use the word list as the preferred term.
In this chapter, you'll learn how to create a list in a workbook, sort the list based on one or more fields, locate important records by using filters, organize entries by using sub-totals, and create summary information by using pivot tables and new pivot charts. The lists that you create will be compatible with Access, and, if you're not already familiar with Access, the techniques that you learn here will give you a head start on learning several database commands and terms.