Is it time to upgrade from MS Excel to MS Access?

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Excel is an extremely powerful application with database capabilities. While you can use functions to extend the database capabilities of Excel, Access is much better suited to handle databases. A task that takes 3 Excel functions, for example, is accomplished very easily with Access.

moving from Excel to Access

Here are 7 signs that it is time to upgrade your Excel spreadsheet to an Access database.

  1. Your spreadsheet has several hundred rows. The larger your spreadsheet, the more complicated it becomes to update and analyze.
  2. You’d like to control the kind of data other users enter. With Access, you can limit what users are allowed to enter. You can specify that the data must be of a particular type (ex., numbers only) or length, and more. If someone tries to enter information that doesn’t fit, they get an error message.
  3. You’d like to control the values other users enter. In addition to restricting the types of values users can enter, you can also restrict the specific values.
  4. You want to quickly find matches between two sets of data. Excel uses functions to find data matches. In my opinion, the process in Access is much more intuitive.
  5. You want to quickly find which values in one set of data doesn’t exist in the other. Again, this is a task you can accomplish using Excel functions. Access has a Find Unmatched query that is simple to create and use.
  6. You want to quickly identify and/or delete duplicates. With Excel 2007, the process of deleting duplicates is easy. Identifying duplicates requires a few more steps: you have to use Conditional formatting. By contrast, Access has a Find Duplicates query that makes identifying duplicates easy.
  7. You want to prevent users from entering duplicate values. In Access 2007, you can set a field to prevent users from entering duplicate values. When they try, they will get an error message and Access will prevent them from adding duplicate data.

As I mentioned earlier, Excel will accomplish some of these tasks – it just takes extra effort. Access, on the other hand, takes care of these tasks easily. Why not do things the simple and straightforward way by upgrading your spreadsheets to Microsoft Access databases?

For Advanced Excel training in Atlanta, check out our classes in Excel Functions & Formulas, Excel PivotTables, and Excel Lookup Functions.

If you are ready to upgrade to Microsoft Access, our Access 4-day Comprehensive Course (offered in Atlanta) provides all of the training you need to master Access. The next class starts soon, call 770.498.7333 or click the link for details.

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