MS Access – a helpful package but where to start?

MS Access has been around for a long time now though not as well spread as Excel is in the commercial world. It may be that it is not well understood but since its part of MS office professional and many of you will have it installed it may be worth a few minutes consideration as to how it may be used.

Excel tends to be a package that people can ‘muddle’ through and pick bits of knowledge up along the way, however Access is a bit more involved and it is very hard to ‘muddle’ through with not much knowledge. Therefore it is often more important to go on a course to learn about Access and how to use it.

Key pointers for using Access:

  • If you have differing sets of data tables you wish to link and extract information from then Access is probably a good tool for you
  • Examples of its use we’ve come across are personnel system, ordering systems, control of food production, insurance claims, course control
  • The key to success is a good relationship model between all the data tables
  • It’s better than Excel in our opinion for Reporting from the data sets
  • Excel is better than Access though at calculations and charting
  • However you can import and export to and from Excel to Access
  • Some of the terms are similar to Excel e.g. criteria in Access are similar to filter in Excel
  • You can start off with just a couple of tables and build up from there
  • Once you have created a database, Access has what can be described similar to an ‘auto-save’ and you do not have to keep saving it before you close it down.

We run courses for Access and from experience with our 2 day course you are up and running with all the basic tools for tables, query, forms and report creation.

See our website for more details.

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