Excel is the dominant spreadsheet program in the workforce today and we even use it within service programs such as SalesForce for CRM, or MailChimp, or PSPinc's product Newsmail for newsletters. Data from these programs may be downloadable in CSV or TXT (text) file formats, which can be opened and read in Excel. Make sure you have a means to export CSV or TXT files into Excel so you have the power to retrieve data from your online forms or other programs that give you customer knowledge.
When you download the text file to retrieve your online form submissions, and read the information in Excel, it should look like the columns of information in Excel align with the different fields that people fill out on your web form. That’s probably the easiest way to understand and sort the data from your form. If you have a say in building the online form, make sure you know how to read the downloadable data when it’s time to export it and sort it.
Most online forms send results via email. But you can also use CSV and TXT files as your transaction log. Just in case you misplace the email in your inbox, or if it hits the junk box accidentally, at least you know the downloaded file will ensure you get all the online submissions in one file, so you don’t miss a single one.
Before creating your website’s online form, have a plan and process in place. Having great data without proper ways to view it and use it is just a waste of resources and time.