PC World features article on advanced Excel tips for processing data that may not be structured into distinct columns initially  

Excel pro tips: Importing and parsing data
http://www.pcworld.com/article/3049943/software/excel-pro-tips-importing-and-parsing-data.html

Data imported from other spreadsheets or databases is already separated into fields, using something called a field delimiter—a comma, tab, space, or custom character—to separate one field from another. These databases import easily into Excel and place all the fields in separate columns. If your company pays bills and/or banks online, these sites usually offer copies of the company’s records in electronic form. CSV (comma separated values) is the most common data exchange format and, if offered, the best one to use. But what happens when all the data imports into one cell?

Importing & parsing data — If you copy a block of data from a webpage, a word processing file, or other text file, then paste into Excel using the Paste > Special > Text command, all the data is dumped into a column of single cells. This means the records are copied into separate rows, but all of the fields are in one cell. What a mess! Now what?