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Integrating Access & Excel

Integrating Access & Excel

So many businesses use Access and Excel, with several manual steps to format data so it can be used in either of these tools. We'll help you identify ways of integrating the two to streamline processes and enable more efficient delivery of results. This will also reduce risk of error through manual intervention, and make processes easier to document and handover.

Some tasks can be done in Access or Excel, with minimal difference in methodology or time taken to complete the task. Your business may have several unique processes, involving numerous steps, in Excel, Access or both. We’ll investigate these and help streamline processes.

It may be that processes in Access were built by an Access expert and those in Excel by someone who was very comfortable with Excel but not with Access. With little added work at the outset, the two tools can be integrated to drive efficiency and minimise potential errors.

However, sometimes it’s clear whether to choose Access or Excel, depending on which version of Access and Excel your business is using. E.g. If you’re using versions from 2007 onwards, 1,048,576 rows of data are the maximum number of rows on a worksheet (tab) in Excel. If the data you’re working with has more than 1,048,576 rows, Access should be used. The alternative is to use several tabs in Excel but this could get very messy very quickly!

Access can store nearly 2GB of data, which is a lot more than 1,048,576 rows! Data can be stored in a much more manageable way, making it a lot easier to interrogate, manipulate and ensure data integrity!

We’ll advise on how to recognise when it’s best to use Access or Excel and considerations when automating solutions.

Automation is extremely useful, and the way forward! There are so many reasons why processes should be automated. E.g. It speeds up processes and in doing so creates resource, reduces risk of manual intervention and errors. This allows results to be shared sooner, so opportunities aren’t being missed, because data on which to base decisions on wasn’t available in time.

Once something is fully automated, no checks are being done so something could go wrong “behind the scenes” and the end user isn’t aware of it until a stakeholder points out that something looks amiss. Depending what that is, you could lose your client. Rigorous error checks and call to action alerts, need to be built into any process which you are trying to fully automate, so credibility isn’t lost!!!

Below Is A List Of Considerations When Integrating Access & Excel:

  • Compress Databases & Excel workbooks
  • Create Backups
  • Design A Contingency Plan
  • Troubleshooting
  • Version Control & Master Databases / Spreadsheets
  • Scheduled Jobs To Optimise Data Extraction & Management
  • Implementing Rigorous Checks, Ensuring Data Is Correct, And Call To Action If Not
  • Ensuring Reports Are Put On Hold Until Data Is Available & Credible
  • Distribution Lists To Communicate With Stakeholders
Integrating Access & Excel

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