# How To Convert A Number To Date In Excel

Converting numbers to dates in Excel requires understanding the software's date system and utilizing built-in functions or formulas. This process can be essential for data analysis and ensuring accurate date representations.

While Excel offers native solutions for this conversion, users often seek streamlined alternatives. We'll explore why Sourcetable provides a more user-friendly approach to converting numbers to dates than Excel.

## Converting Numbers to Dates in Excel

### Using Formulas to Convert Numbers to Dates

To convert a number to a date in Excel, use the formula =DATE(1900, 1, 1) + A1 - 2. This formula leverages the DATE function to create an Excel date based on the serial number in cell A1. Excel recognizes January 1, 1900, as serial number 2, hence the subtraction of 2. The addition operator combines the adjusted serial number with the base date to yield the correct date value.

### Formatting Cells for Date Conversion

Excel's cell format plays a crucial role in how numbers are displayed as dates. You can convert a number to a date by changing the cell format. Access the Number Format drop-down or the Date format option to apply a pre-defined date format. Alternatively, use the Custom Date Format for more control over the display.

### Using Text and Date Functions

For text strings resembling dates, the TEXT function can format them as date values. Use the DATEVALUE function to turn text into a serial number that Excel interprets as a date. The VALUE function offers a broader functionality, converting any text that looks like a date into a numeric form. For complex date strings, functions like TEXTSPLIT, MID, LEFT, and RIGHT can parse the string into components, which you then reassemble with the DATE function to achieve the desired format.

### Utilizing Excel's DATE Function

The DATE function can be employed to convert numbers to dates. Given a text string, such as "Sep 26, 1989", parse it with text functions and then use the DATE function to reformat it into "MM/DD/YYYY". Excel's local settings will determine the exact format used.

## Common Use Cases

• Tracking project milestones by converting project day numbers into actual calendar dates

• Analyzing time-series data by converting epoch timestamps to readable dates

• Automating age calculation by converting birthdate numbers into date format

• Scheduling payments by converting due day numbers of the month into specific dates

• Organizing historical data by converting serial date numbers to standard date formats

## Excel vs. Sourcetable: A Comparative Analysis

Excel remains the go-to spreadsheet tool for data analysis, known for its versatility and powerful features. However, Sourcetable offers a unique approach, integrating data from multiple sources into a single, user-friendly platform. This comparison sheds light on their core differences and potential use cases.

Sourcetable's integration capability stands out, allowing users to centralize data from various sources. Unlike Excel, it simplifies data consolidation, making it an ideal choice for managing complex data ecosystems efficiently.

The AI copilot feature in Sourcetable is a game-changer. It assists users in creating formulas and templates through an intuitive chat interface, a functionality that Excel does not natively offer.

While Excel is a powerhouse for data manipulation and custom analysis, Sourcetable's AI-driven assistance can significantly reduce the learning curve, especially for those less versed in spreadsheet functions.

Choosing between Excel and Sourcetable depends on the user's needs. Excel excels in deep, custom analysis, while Sourcetable shines in data centralization and user-friendly AI assistance.