Why choose Access over Excel? - Access vs Excel

Every organisation needs some sort of data management process where data is recorded, stored and extracted. Some organisations do this manually with paperwork, while others do this electronically.

The 2 most widely used software applications in business today for data management are Microsoft Excel and Microsoft Access. Both of which are widely available in organisations today as an incorporation of the Microsoft Office package, however, which one should you use for your data management solution?

Sharing and Simultaneous Users – Access Wins

Microsoft Access has the ability to split its database to ensure all the back end data and front end entry forms/reports are kept separate. This allows users to only see the information they need to see while keeping your back end storage of the data separate, easing back up and protecting your data. Excel on the other hand shows all data to the user, which could be risky.

Access databases allow the distribution of the front end application file to as many users as need be, without effecting data & referential integrity.

Speed of Application during Growth – Access Wins

With Microsoft Excel, as the file becomes larger over time the application starts to become slow and unstable. The same can also be said when a large number of simultaneous users access the file.

With Access, you can have as many simultaneous users using the database which holds thousands and thousands of records, without affecting the operational speed.

We have recently developed a database available to 400 employees with no reports of speed losses.    

Security – Access Wins

Access holds additional security features over Excel which includes in depth change logs and restricted access elements. Access databases also store attachments within the database itself, which resolves the issue of unknown file links being lost in Excel.

Structure and Reporting – Access Wins

Rather than having all the data in one spreadsheet, Microsoft Access provides data structure through tables and relationships. This assists in creating complex queries and reports that Excel would struggle to perform.

Training – Excel Wins

This is the only section where Excel wins. An Excel spreadsheet can be developed in less than hour with limited skill sets, whereas Access databases do take a longer time to develop with a greater skill set required. This is where we come in and provide bespoke database applications for your business at unbeatable costs!


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