Microsoft Excel Vs Access

Discussion in 'Life Insurance Forum' started by jboussea, Mar 19, 2017.

  1. jboussea
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    jboussea Well-Known Member

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    I'm trying to collect underwriting Data on a bunch of carriers. I first want to start with max weight for different Health ratings but I want to add as I go along. I want to be able to filter and sort thorugh the data as I will need it later on.

    Should I use Excel or Access .. and why?
     
  2. Josh
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    Josh Well-Known Member

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    Access is going to give you more options, but excel is going to be MUCH easier to use and if you plan on sharing with anyone then it has that advantage as well.
     
  3. LostDollar
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    LostDollar Well-Known Member

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    I agree with Josh's comments.

    One of the reasons I lost my last job is that I could not understand and master concepts needed for database programs such as Access and Crystal Reports.

    In the old dBase days, a database was a list of records that had fields. Now there is something called objects. I can't get a conceptual picture in my head of what an object is and how it relates to other pieces of data, so learning how to use the programs is almost impossible for me.

    Compared to old versions of Lotus or Excel, modern Excel has some very powerful data management techniques. Filtering data based on specific content of cells in one column, lots of conditional selection, color coding cells and so forth. I'm sorry, it has been 4 years or so since I have used it in any detail and I have forgotten enough I can't give you good specific details.

    When I read your post, the first question that comes to my mind is how many of what I call records, would you be dealing with. When I think about a telephone marketer that might be wanting to track calls to thousands of potential customer and compare that to your word "carriers", it seems like you may have a small quantity of records with lots and lots of detail for each record. (Or however they say that nowadays for objects.)

    On that basis, my feeling would be what Josh expressed, that Excel would likely meet your needs and be far easier to learn.

    There are also some very good online help sites for Excel-when you get into specific tasks and want technique help, you can often get that online.
     
  4. jboussea
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    jboussea Well-Known Member

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    Thanks for the reply ..

    I am struggling how to do it..One issue is standardizing things between multiple carriers.. for example .. I wanted to put the max. weight for a given height .. However some carriers don't even give you a max Weight for a Standard class

    My reason for wanting to use access is that I could add different criterias and be able to analyze and filter later on.. but I'm thinking that you're right, there is not much depth for it to warrant using access
     
  5. WillC
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    WillC Active Member

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    Agree with the previous, with emphasis on simplicity. Excel is an amazing product. It can be learned at a functional level very quickly, and you can go into great depth if there's a reason to do so.

    It can easily log, categorize and report-out the data that jboussea asked about.

    It can serve as an "actionable CRM" for client contacts such as welcome/onboard/loyalty building/referral gathering and cross-sell. For this purpose, the value is easy categorization, selection and output to communication vehicles.

    One of Microsoft's better efforts, although in many respects a send-up to the pioneers such as Lotus123 and Quattro.
     
    Last edited: Mar 19, 2017
  6. LostDollar
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    LostDollar Well-Known Member

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    Forgot about Quattro.

    I think the IT manager at one of the companies I worked for thought that was far and away the best at the time.

    There may still be a few diehards working to make Lotus 5 for DOS work because of Lotus' macro language. That was very much the case during the Windows XP era, don't know what's happened with that with the advent of Windows 7-10.

    It would take me a couple of days to figure out the Excel help sites. One was/is done by a guy that has written several books, another by a guy who sells stuff off his sites-maybe Alan something?

    In case they would be of use to op, do you happen to readily know any of those?

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    edit:
    I think one of them was John Walkenbach.

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    Last edited: Mar 19, 2017
  7. walthamny
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    walthamny Well-Known Member

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    If you use Access, it may not be compatible with the next version of Access. AT least with Excel, so far Microsoft has made every version of Excel compatible. So why develop something in MS Access and have it get stuck in an obsolete version over time
     
  8. jboussea
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    jboussea Well-Known Member

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    Jesus!! .. why do things have to be so complicated.. I always wondered why those 2 programs could not be merged..

    just have Excel and use "database" mode or something for the Access functionality.
     
  9. LostDollar
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    LostDollar Well-Known Member

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    another thing you can do with excel is check out several books at the library and then just scan them to get a sense of organization, writing style, illustrations etc- and then read some amazon reviews for some of the ones you like.

    that would give you a reasonable chance of getting one or two reference tools from Amazon or eBay that will actually be useful to YOU.

    One of the specific techniques that will be of interest to you is filters. There is another and I cant for the life of me remember what it is-if I can get it back in my head I will post it here too.
     
  10. jboussea
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    jboussea Well-Known Member

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    Thanks for all your help.. don't go crazy.. i'm just going to start with something simple and tweak and make changes as I need to .. so I'll learn on the go.
     

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