Data Base Administrators: Please lend a hand to a new assistant DBA
October 21, 2014 7:03 PM   Subscribe

Quick question about using MS ACCESS. Can you direct me to an online tutorial that quickly illustrates how to create or edit/manipulate and an existing report from excel data? I do have an existing report that can probably be modified, but I've never used access before.

Our database is proprietary but I've learned how to do deep queries and export that data into excel. While my bosses love that, they want me to hand over my data to another department so that guy can use access to create a smooth report. I want to do that myself.

Any ideas, some DIY advice or very specific tutorials would be greatly appreciated. I've spent a couple of hours screening tutorials and they're mostly database/access 101. What I need is to hack the existing report as a noob with no MS Access experience/training.

Many thanks in advance!
posted by snsranch to Work & Money (4 answers total) 4 users marked this as a favorite
Best answer: Have you looked at Microsoft's tutorials on how to use Access' reporting functionality?

Take a look here.

Also consider that you can do most of the same kind of reporting in Excel with pivot tables.
posted by dfriedman at 7:32 PM on October 21, 2014

I have done this (export from proprietary database to Excel, then dump into Access for reports). It is a terrible, time-consuming kludge that I only did because I was on a relentless deadline, needed a better formatted report than I could get out of Excel (I needed some grouping that I couldn't get Excel to do), and didn't have any better tools at hand.

If this is you, then review the tutorial linked above and any related ones. Otherwise, you might impress your boss more if you are able to remove a step or two from this process. Can you create a similar report in Excel? Do you understand what your leaders like (or don't like) about the existing report and then recreate that (or avoid it) in a report format that takes fewer steps to generate?
posted by jeoc at 8:28 PM on October 21, 2014 [1 favorite]

Um, alternatively, have you looked into PowerPivot and PowerQuery? It's part of Excel 2013 (and/or a free add-on in 2010). It's the future of BI via Microsoft (where as I don't know where Access is going.) If you're already have Sharepoint (or paying for it) the combination of the two can give you some quick wins.
posted by Spumante at 5:13 AM on October 22, 2014 [2 favorites]

Response by poster: Thanks for the help! That tutorial is exactly what I need right now. This is definitely a kludge and it looks like it may be a job security thing; "Oh, shit we need Bill, he's the only one who knows this stuff!"

I'm definitely going to learn about PowerPivot and PowerQuery too. It looks like one of the reasons this approach was used was for e-mail distribution, but I'm sure that can be done with less effort and fewer steps.

Thanks again!
posted by snsranch at 4:46 PM on October 22, 2014

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