1.5 About External Data Connections – Intro to Excel 2016 Data Analysis

1.5 About External Data Connections

When external data connections are established, Excel maintains the connection so that future work with the file can continue without having to reload the file into Excel each time. This also ensures that we are using the correct table for our data that requires updating.
The main benefit of connecting to external data is that you can periodically analyze this data in Excel without repeatedly copying the data, which is an operation that can be time-consuming and error-prone. After connecting to external data, you can also automatically refresh (or update) your Excel workbooks from the original data source whenever the data source is updated with new information.
The advantages are simplification of your transactions; you know you are connecting to a data source previously encountered. It also ensures you are not making mistakes while moving data. See Appendix B of this Student Guide for more information about data connections.

​Excel best practices with data is to create a file with multiple tabs, each of which has an external data connection. The user is in effect creating an Excel switchboard file (in our case it is the Excel file, SWITCHBOARD.xlsx. After your various external data sources have been updated, you can check these files for recent updates by selecting the “Refresh or Refresh ALL” icon on the :”Queries and Connections section of the Ribbon, as shown below:

​Note: If an external data connection file has been moved, you must reimport the file to re-establish the data connection with the new location.