gnumeric and a data tree

I'm a newcomer to spreadsheets, but have sucessfully used gnumeric for
a major project. I now face a new challenge of a different kind and
would like to know if a spreadsheet is really appropriate for it.

It is easiest to define this challenge in terms of specifics. It
involves a list of hundreds of names and some associated data, and
each name in turn is associated with perhaps 2-50 other names, each of
which might possibly be associated with ten other people. I'm trying
to store this data in a way easy to modify and to generate
lists. Therefore there are three levels of information.

A spreadsheet seems ill-suited for a data tree such as this, but I
would like a confirmation. I would prefer a spreadsheet because I can
give the data to someone running Excel. If gnumeric can handle this
fairly well, how should the data be organized. On the other hand, if a
database is really necessary for the job, which would be best suited
for export of data into the Windows world (I'm dealing with people who
have never heard of Linux at all!).

Haines Brown

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