Why is Access an ideal platform for the small business?

There a good chance you’re using Microsoft Office products already.  Access is a part of the Office Professional suite and seamlessly integrates with other Office applications.  Access provides a platform for quickly creating powerful data management software that can be programmed to isolate the end user from the database almost entirely.  That way they need not know how to use Access itself, and training is minimized.

Who needs databases?

  • Businesses with large spreadsheets tracking business information that are difficult to manage, organize, and may have multiple users attempting to access at the same time
  • Businesses with multiple sources of data that need to be compared and tracked as easily and automatically as possible
  • Businesses with end users that are not necessarily competent with Office software but need to interact with your data systems

What can a database do for you?

  • Provide a clean and efficient data entry method for just about anything: Inventory receipts, defect and failure tracking, repair data, customer or client contact information, simple inventory management, and essentially anything that can be or currently is tracked on a spreadsheet.
  • Provide easily integrated outputs to Excel, PowerPoint, and even web driven reporting for quick analysis of business performance and improvement actions.
  • Provide control of your business data not possible with spreadsheets, such as who can access, change or add data.  We can even provide tracking of the who and when of changed data as well as what it was prior to editing.
  • Create centralized repositories of business data accessible by multiple people, eliminating conflicts in changes made by multiple users and simplifying backup and storage of your data.

What do I need to implement an Access Application?

Microsoft Office Access needs to be properly licensed for all your users.  Any computer running the application needs to have an installed Access application or runtime environment.  Shared databases will need a common network storage location for the data to ensure accessibility from anywhere on your network.  Depending on the size or scale of your desired database, it may be recommended to move to a dedicated database server to contain your data.

Can Access integrate with our existing data systems?

Yes, through ODBC connectivity, text file exports and many other data exchange formats, Access can import, access, and utilize your companies existing data structures.  The ability and requirements of integration will be quoted on a case by case basis.

Can Access support Medical ISO and FDA requirements for record keeping and pass 820CFR audit?

Yes, user and record control capabilities are available in Access to meet or exceed 820CFR regulation requirements.  Extensive validation testing and reporting is required to meet this requirement and can be provided upon request.

What kind of user access controls can be used?

User level security can be implemented on several levels:

  • Low security / criticality – Either no user identification at all or users choose their name from a list, no password required.
  • Controlled Domain Access – User information can be pulled from Windows to identify access without an additional login.  This works best when all users are required to log on to a domain and your company has strong IT security policies for data storage and domain access.
  • Database Specific Workgroup and User log in – All aspects of the database are controlled for specific users that must enter a user name and password when opening the database.  This certainly the highest security model, but does have the side effect of requiring maintenance of user names and login credentials.

What benefits can I expect from additional Office training?

Microsoft Office applications have a great deal of advanced functionality that may not be known or utilized by your associates.  In businesses driven by e-mail, this can quickly lead to inefficiencies and losses of productivity.

  • Outlook training can lead to improved time management through the proper use of tasks, meeting requests, and the management of large volumes of e-mail with folders and rules
  • Word training can lead to faster creation and more consistent formatting of company documents
  • Excel training can lead to faster manipulation of data for analysis and reporting for customers and management
  • Access training can enable technical leads to maintain and develop more advanced database tools for tracking and analyzing business data