Page 7 of 11PREVNEXT

Choose between Access and Excel

Questions that help you decide on structure

Reasons to use each program.

While data structures are important, they aren't the only reasons to choose Access or Excel. A few more questions can help you decide between the two programs:

  • First, do you need to store and manage your data, or do you need to analyze that data? If storage is your primary goal, then use Access, but for analysis, use Excel.
  • Second, do you have a lot of data? For example, is your Excel worksheet so large that it's hard to use? If so, even if you have flat data, Access can make your information easier to find.
  • Is your data mostly text, or is it numeric? Access can store a large amount of text — up to two gigabytes in a single database — while Excel is designed to store numbers and perform sophisticated calculations on them.
Page 7 of 11PREVNEXT