Microsoft Office has become a very well-known software package over the years. As Microsoft was gaining popularity, more people started using Microsoft Office. You probably heard about MS Word or PowerPoint. It became the norm for people to use these programs for their job or even for something that is not necessarily work-related. One of the popular software that comes with MS Office is Access and Excel. They do have some similarities, such as working with data, but they also have their differences. Just because they both work with data doesn’t mean it’s not important which one you use. In this article, we will discuss why you should use MS Access instead of Excel. We will also point out what are the advantages of using MS Access.
Differences Between MS Access and Excel
As we have mentioned, both MS Access and Excel work with data. However, it is not the same to work with Access and Excel. For instance, Excel stores its data in cells – and you organize those cells by rows and columns.
On the other hand, MS Access is a program for databases. The data you store is in tables that you can connect. Access also offers its users to make graphs, charts and use different mathematical formulas to transform the data. Previously mentioned makes Access look more organized and easier to work with. You can find something that you need with a unique ID number or list larger amounts of data. Therefore, if you have multiple people working on it, Access is a more suitable option.
The upside of Excel is that it’s easier to learn. Even if you do not have past experiences with such programs, it will not take you too long to become skilled at it. Most things seem intuitive and are easy to remember. When it comes to MS Access, it is a bit harder to learn. Access is a program for databases, so it does require you to know certain things about them.
It is important to remember that developers didn’t intend to make Excel for storing data. It implies that the storage capacity is lower, and storage is something you will need to keep an eye on. The indicated is not the case for Microsoft Access, though. Access is mainly built for storing and manipulating data, which suggests that there will be much more storage available when working with Access.
Why Do We Use MS Access?
While we use Excel for data analysis predominantly, Access leans more towards data management. We can say that Microsoft Access is a database tool designed for different kinds of tasks. Some of those tasks, besides data management, are displaying data subsets, automatization for regular events, and being able to use a database by multiple users.
Even though we have seen that both Excel and Access have their advantages and disadvantages, for a long-term solution – MS Access is undoubtedly a better idea. If you are working on a project for a longer time, you will probably have more data. One of the biggest reasons why Access might be a wiser choice is – storage. A database should be larger and hold more amounts of data. When collecting and storing this information, storage should be your minimal concern.
When working with hundreds of thousands of cells, Excel might not work to its full potential. It becomes more and more demanding to work with your data. Also, it becomes harder to manage it because of the size. Just updating your formulas can be a challenging job. However, this is not the case with Access.
While using Excel, you organize your data in spreadsheets. Having to search for a specific cell might take some time since you will have to use filters. If you’re trying to find an information set, it may be even more complicated. MS Access allows you to operate queries written in SQL. By using this, you will get the relevant information back quickly.
Data might not always be simple, like a set of numbers and names. It can be more complex and interconnected, where certain information may be crucial for a piece of a different project. Previously mentioned is why Access would be a better idea since it handles more complex data much better. Data is, after all, organized in tables, and they have relationships that can help the user understand it better.
It is clear that Excel and Access are not the same and that they have their differences. Some of these differences might be crucial in your choice of which one you should use. For instance, we have mentioned that Excel can not handle large amounts of data very well as Access can. For businesses that are bigger and need a larger database, it is better to use Access to hold their data.
Just because Excel and Access are two different software programs, it does not mean you can not import data from one to another. If you have previously worked in Excel and decided to transition to Access – it is easy to transfer the data from Excel to Access and vice versa. In the end, MS Access has a more significant way of managing your data. It is more complicated than Excel, but it’s also more organized and makes it easier to find something you are looking for.