What Is Data Consolidation?

by Casey Helmick ; Updated September 26, 2017
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Data consolidation is a term used to define the process of summarizing large quantities of information, usually in the form of spreadsheets, into one large worksheet that reflects all of the involved data. Data consolidation is generally performed by a computer, the most common form being with Microsoft Excel, which contains an automated tool used for data consolidation.

Data Consolidation

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Data consolidation is a process that takes various cells of data from across an entire spreadsheet and compiles them into another sheet. This is an automated system that saves the user time from having to go and record each cell of data from various reference points and manually enter them into the desired places on the new sheet, making it much easier to re-arrange, format and organize large quantities of information in a short amount of time.

Microsoft Excel

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Microsoft Excel offers a tool that allows users to consolidate data between various worksheets to form a larger, more organized summary of all your sheets. Microsoft Excel’s data consolidation tool also allows users to consolidate data from more than one Excel file, allowing the user to summarize data sheets into one easy to read spreadsheet.

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Requirements for Data Consolidation

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In order for the various computer programs to consolidate data from multiple worksheets and files, each file and worksheet must meet certain requirements. Each worksheet needs to share the same range of information in both axis’s. This will allow the program to calculate how each cell of data corresponds with the data in other pages and worksheets. Once the ranges have been tailored to match the various worksheets, the program will generate a new worksheet summarizing all of the data.

Who Uses Data Consolidation?

Businesspeople

Many different occupations can use data consolidation to better organize their work and make them more proficient. Teachers can use data consolidation to summarize all of their classes grades for various projects into one solid summary of assignment, topics and tests to see where the classes are struggling the most. Doctors can use data consolidation to keep track of patients and drugs along with various treatments. Vendors can even use data consolidation to track which stores are selling which products and how much profit they are turning.

Paying for Data Consolidation

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Many different companies offer data consolidation software and services. These services are usually not automated but are able to be done through various worksheets that run in more than one program or format. Most of the time, these services involve another person sitting down and manually breaking down and summarizing your data when sheets do not meet the requirements for a computer to consolidate the information.

About the Author

Casey Helmick is a full-time writer from Ohio who started writing during November of 2008. He has written for many different clients including online magazines such as Elocal USA and BAN software websites.

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