Excel or Access for a database

Excel or Access for a database

A key question for typical computer end users is whether to use excel or access for a database. Both products have pros and cons. In the ideal world (and perhaps this will come in a version in the future) the best features of both will be built into a single product.

For now the closest we can come is to combine the two products to achieve the desired database as shown in our Access with Excel training course.

It is often easier though to just give Access a skip and use Excel. Below some questions you should ask yourself before taking the easy route.

Should you use a database like MS Access? If you answer yes to the majority of questions below you should seriously consider it.

  • Time-scale of data used– You need to store history of prior transactions / input data. Records need to be maintained for ageing purposes.
  • Input – Large amount of uniform data is used, with similar input formats, e.g. all loan transactions for a year. Each row has exactly the same input fields.
  • Calculations – Calculations are based on inputs appearing uniformly in the table, such as columns or across rows
  • Output required (Reporting)– Intend generating reports based on historical information
  • Working environment – Need the ability to have many people working on the model at the same time at the same physical location.
  • Security required– Need security to limit access rights to various levels of end-users.

If you need to start to learn about Access, or you already use it but want a better understanding, consider our Access with Excel training course.