Project: I'm a student on work study at a university and am trying to design a database to store information pertaining to faculty involvement in various projects at the university over several years.
Problem: I have several Excel spreadsheets with contact and professional information and program participation related to various individuals, some names only appear once, some multiple times, either in different programs, or in the same program for multiple years. I'm having trouble trying to import all of this information into the database I'm creating.
Solutions Attempted: I began with a single table and several hundred fields, which I found out very quickly was unwieldy to try to navigate through and maintain, so I scrapped that idea. Then I learned about many-to-many relationships, and tried to use that. I was able to set up my tables and relationships correctly, in that I had multiple records pertaining to program participation linked to an individual via portals. However, when I tried to import the data from my spreadsheets, I couldn't link the information about programs to the primary table, which was based on an individual's contact and professional information. Do I need to perform multiple imports? And if so, how can I link all that information together, under the single individual?
Background: I do not have any prior experience with database design, nor background in Computer Science, so if any advice is offered, trying to keep it in simpler technical terms would be much appreciated!