If you like Excel, you'll really enjoy Access. Chances are that if you've been using Excel, you've become pretty comfortable with how to organise information, create formulas, and produce charts that have made your job exponentially easier. However, if you've never tried any MS Access courses, you might be surprised at how much more effective your information can become than with Microsoft Excel alone.

If you're an Excel user, you probably feel a little frustrated when you see a co-worker trying to hash out complicated formulas on paper or organise information using Microsoft Word. That's because Excel is better suited for calculations and organisation than paper or word processor programs.

However, Access is the ultimate data storage tool - many times more powerful and effective for entering and retrieving information than Excel. The degree of difference is almost as significant as that between your co-worker's handwritten notes and your use of Excel. Coming up, we'll discuss just a few powerful features covered in MS Access courses that can turn your spreadsheets into interactive data warehouses.

Simple, Customised, Data Entry
Entering data into an Excel file can be a little frustrating. If your data sheet is long, wide, or both, you'll be doing a lot of scrolling up and down or side to side in order to find where to plug in the information. One of the first things you'll learn in MS Access courses is how to create simple, user-friendly form boxes in which to enter your data.

When it's time to enter data, you'll simply tab through your form entering data in the appropriate fields, click a button, and all of the data is neatly placed into the correct cells behind the scenes.

Data Retrieval Queries
If you've got quite a bit of data in Excel, finding data isn't all that easy. If you're scrolling around, freezing panes and windows, or constantly sorting, you're working too hard! In MS Access courses, you'll learn a simple way to instantly retrieve information anywhere in the database.

Not only can you quickly and easily find the one piece of data you're looking for, you can also set parameters such as dates, times, product types, or customer names, within which to retrieve the data. For example, in introductory MS Access courses, you'll learn how to create a query that could instantly find all products purchased by a particular customer between January and June. Another application would be to query all outgoing phone records for one department during the month of July. No matter how specific you need the information, MS Access courses provides you the key to instantly retrieving it.

Customised Reports
Oftentimes, when you're querying data from the database, it is for use in a report. This may be a special report that will be published in the company newsletter, or an informal one that you'll deliver to the boss's inbox regarding an earlier question. Either way, you normally need a way to take the data and turn it into something that other people can read and understand quickly.

Access has a built-in way to automate this process with its customisable reporting feature. In MS Access courses, you'll learn how to build reports that will instantly populate with up-to-the-minute information. Behind the scenes, Access will calculate all of your formulas and raw data and turn it into a perfectly organised report, ready to be handed off.

You can learn Access on your own through trial and error or with a book. However, Access isn't as initially intuitive as Excel or Word, though once you understand the basics, Access is a very simple to use database that operates using sound logical principals. With professionally organised MS Access courses you can go from zero knowledge to the advanced skill level in just 5 days. The first day covers the basics while the most advanced courses touch on exciting programming with VBA. With tiered levels of MS Access training, you can decide exactly how much you'd like to learn to suit your information management needs.