SQL

One big issue with Excel © is the intrinsic mixture of data and of programs (formulas). VBA can help a bit here, but if you really want to separate the data from the programs you need to use a database.

My friend and former colleague Mike R. developed a tiny but powerful simple database. It consists of two tables and two stored procedures. I use this with MS SQL Server.

You can feed data into it via Excel and retrieve data with Excel.