How To Format and Use Real-Time Data (RTD) in Excel

Microsoft Office Excel provides a worksheet function, RealTimeData (RTD). This function enables you to call a Component Object Model (COM) Automation server to retrieve data in real time.

Excel has always included data types like text, number, and others to make it easier to create intricate data models in spreadsheets. But you can use the global data stored in the Microsoft Cloud in real time, which is one of the major advantages of having the cloud-powered version of Excel in Microsoft Office 365.

In the past, Amaxra blogged about this ability to increase productivity with Excel’s Map Charts. Similar to that function, Excel in Office 365’s October 2018 update lets you import geographical and financial market data that is updated in real-time from the cloud into your spreadsheet. If you’re anything like me, you’ve already started to consider how this new feature will alter the way you view your business data.

Using RealTimeData (RTD) server for Excel

Who uses Excel real-time data?

While there are numerous functions in Excel that are used by a variety of professionals, the RTD function has a specific function. Professionals who implement RTD into their Excel workbooks may include:

What is Excel real-time data?

Users can access real-time data from outside sources using the Excel real-time data, or RTD, function in Excel workbooks. This feature establishes a connection between the workbook and the internet to deliver regular updates of financial and geographic data. To continuously update a workbook, RTD can access a number of online databases. RTD is frequently used by financial professionals to input data from the stock market. This aids them in monitoring the prices of specific stocks or evaluating potential investment opportunities.

By using this feature rather than manually creating a real-time spreadsheet, developers may be able to save time and effort. Furthermore, you might think about setting restrictions on the workbooks that access RTD by limiting the number of users authorized to view the specific data sets. Including this function in your Excel workbooks may open up new possibilities for you to access, analyze, and use real-time data in your projects.

How to make an Excel real-time data spreadsheet

To create an Excel spreadsheet for real-time data, think about doing the following:

1. Create a new table

Making a new table is the first step in using Excel’s real-time data feature. You organize and store all of your data in this table. Try to enter headings that match the kinds of information you want to include. Consider using the shorthand names of five different stocks as the headings, for instance, if you want to track the prices of those stocks. Before making a table for use in your regular work, you can make one to practice using the RTD function. This guarantees you comprehend the procedure and enables you to prepare for potential problems’ troubleshooting.

2. Select specific cells

Within the spreadsheet, the table’s cells serve as data storage. Choosing specific cells to store the real-time updates is the next step in implementing the RTD function. Consider, for illustration, three columns that each represent a different geographic location. To store the data, you can select the cells beneath the headings. You select these specific cells to apply the RTD function. For instance, you could choose the first three cells and enter pricing information for the first three stocks that your company owns. Your table may look like this:

Company-wide stock investments**Price of the stock per unit**[Stock title #1][$XX. XX per unit][Stock title #2][$XX. XX per unit][Stock title #3][$XX. XX per unit] .

3. Click on the “Data” tab

Select the cells you want to fill with data, then select the “Data” tab from the menu. Depending on your spreadsheet’s requirements, click either “Stocks” or “Geography.” This gets the program ready to enter the appropriate data into the chosen cells. For instance, you could name the cells New York, Chicago, and Miami if you wanted to gather data based on particular cities. The “Geography” option then gathers information from each of those places to enter into the spreadsheet.

5. Add a new column to receive the data

It’s crucial to add a new column designated for the datasets before the spreadsheet displays the real-time data. Excel looks for matches between the text in the chosen cells and the information it discovers online. Then, it populates the cells with the related information. Once this column has been added, you might notice an icon next to the text. This indicates that Excel is actively gaining access to online data. When RTD is running, the server only updates the data when you are not actively using the spreadsheet. By doing this, you can continue working without worrying about the data changing all the time.

You might notice a question mark next to the text in a cell if your headings are vague. This indicates that the program requires more information regarding the type of data to enter into that cell. It’s likely that the program will ask you to enter more specific information about the data you’re looking for if you click on this question mark. Using the most recent data, the program then finds the corresponding data.

Tips for using real-time data in Excel

When using real-time data in Excel, think about putting these suggestions into practice:

Please note that Indeed is not affiliated with any of the businesses mentioned in this article.


Can Excel pull live data?

A web page’s data table can be quickly imported into Excel, where it can be updated on a regular basis with new information. Open a worksheet in Excel. Choose Get & Transform Data > From Web (Excel 2016), Get External Data (Excel 2000), or Import External Data (Excel XP) from the Data menu, depending on the version of Excel you are using.

What is RTD function in Excel?

RTD uses Excel function-like syntax. The real-time data is entered directly into a cell and contains cell references for use in calculations, formulas, and charts. RTD manages the location and state of real-time data formulas so that the server is not required to.

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