Using Spreadsheets and Databases
The most common form of output for cellular analysis is a spreadsheet, which is an application which
tabulates data values.
CellProfiler can also output data into a database, which is a collection of
data that is stored for retrieval by users. Which format you use will depend on
some of the considerations below:
For spreadsheets, the most widely used program to open these files is Microsoft's Excel program.
Since the file is plain text, other editors can also be used, such as
For databases, a popular freeware access tool is SQLyog.
- Assessibility: Spreadsheet applications are typically designed to allow easy
user interaction with the data, to edit values, make graphs and the like. In contrast, the values in databases are
typically not modified after the fact. Instead, database applications typically allow for viewing a specific data range.
- Capacity and speed: Databases are designed to hold larger amounts of data than spreadsheets. Spreadsheets may contain
hundreds to a few thousand rows of data, whereas databases can hold mnay millions of rows of data. Due to the high
capacity, accessing a particular portion of data in a database is optimized for speed.
- Learning curve: The applications that access spreadsheets are usually made for ease-of-use to allow for user edits.
Databases are more sophisticated and are not typically edited or modified; to do so
require knowledge of specialized languages made for this purpose (e.g., MySQL, Oracle, etc).