Re: ArcMap is not recognising data as numeric
In Excel you should be able to create a new column and use =VALUE(text) insert the first row of your x value in, copy paste for all x, and do the same for all y coordinates. Once you have done this the x,y coordinates should be numbers now. Copy the new column and paste > paste special > Value. Once you have done this you should not run into the issue of the fields not being formatted as a number. User the following KB artible to walk your through the rest of the process.
HowTo: Import XY data tables to ArcMap and convert the data to a shapefile