Habits are hard to break, human nature simply doesn’t like change and we generally fear to have to do more work which usually means one or two steps back to move several steps forward for the better.
With Microsoft Access, business benefits can be seen here to help manage and build SME sized businesses that are part of the ‘back-office’ operations and is vital to have in place even if you are very focussed and keen to go out into the field and promote and sell your products or services.
Therefore, you need various systems and good resources to support your growing and profitable business and one I want to talk about is how Microsoft Access database software will benefit businesses by listing 5 good reasons why it’s a perfect match for SME’s.
1. Cost – If you have a copy of Microsoft Office (Professional or higher) installed on your desktop, then you probably have Microsoft Access sitting there too since its part of this suite of powerful applications.
Therefore, you require no further license and the cost per head/ownership has been amortized between the other applications and over the lifetime of your database system. Working on this simple formula and add someone’s development cost whether outsourced or not will make this is a perfect cost-effective and powerful tool in managing data processing properly – why are you still using Excel?
2. Flexibility – Anyone can create and use an Access database and you do not need a degree in programming either. With some structured training and having no knowledge of computer programming (which is optional for this system), you can have a database to be proud of and pay you dividends in the long term.
When factoring my first point of ‘Cost’ and having spent the time learning how to build a database, the return on your investment will be priceless!
The database can be redeveloped as your business grows or commands additional processes to expand the business management and back-office tasks which means building a system in parts or phases is a wise strategy than trying to build it all in one go as you will never publish and use the database due to perfectionist you are in having that perfect system.
Remember, as your business grows, the tools are adapted with it at the same time – don’t let MS Access rule you!
3. Scalable/Migration – In the true sense of the word, Microsoft Access is not a true client/server database system and the built-in data management tools do not handle data scalability all too well. However, this system can be migrated into a larger database system (SQL Server for example) as and when the business has outgrown the current database.
There is, of course, a downside to this and that’s the element of cost as you will need run-time licenses for each user/seat which can be prohibitive for a small/medium sized business.
Should you feel the business can budget for this move and that it is also justified, then not all your hard work is lost as you only need to migrate the data (tables) to a different database engine as you can still retain your forms and reports as its front-end so end-users will never know any of changes to your database other than maybe it’s a little faster to run.
Do you stick with the 1.6-litre engine or move the V8 supercharger?
4. Longevity – Any system designed should always be planned and built to a defined life cycle. I normally gain an insight into the business requirements and their goals and normally allow for a 5-year life span.
In that time, at least one if not two newer releases of the Microsoft range will be potentially implemented (as Access will be around for a very long time indeed) and the migration between releases should be seamless.
I do know of companies who have built and implemented Access databases back in 1997 and still use Access 2000! There are some minor challenges here but that is more an environment and operating system issue than actually the database to be fair!
5. Collaboration – The thing I like about Access is the ability and seamlessness of how it integrates with the other Microsoft applications namely Excel and Outlook (email).
With the later versions (2016 and 2019), it’s even easier and no programming is even required at all when using the basic functionality available. The ability to import and export data between applications or even run different outputs for a report makes this a perfect tool for your business.
With the more advanced concepts (which will include programming), you can communicate with other non-Microsoft software too as VBA code variants are widely used in other systems.
There you have it! Microsoft Access business benefits are clear to see and it still amazes me how many companies simply ignore using Access and stick with a spreadsheet in Excel instead missing out on the extra dynamics and dimensions your business really needs and benefits from.
Microsoft Access database – It’s a perfect match!
John Abrams a Microsoft Office expert has been working in the technology industry from the last 5 year. As a technical expert, he has written technical blogs, manuals, white papers, and reviews for many websites such as office.com/setup