What Can You Do with a Database?

Perhaps the better question would be the following: What can't you do with a database?

The most basic feature of databases is that they provide unified storage for all the data related to a particular topic. Rather than scatter information through a series of Word documents, Excel spreadsheets, text files, email messages, and sticky notes, you can bring it all together in a database. A database can hold something as simple as the list of guests for your wedding or something as complex as every customer who has ever visited your e-commerce Web site and every order they've ever placed.



What's the difference between data and information? Data refers to the raw facts you store on your computer; information is what you get when you turn those raw facts into something useful. For example, if you sold 2,000 widgets last month, that's data. If you look at a graph of monthly widget sales and see that widget sales are up 50%, that's information.

But a database can do much more than just store reams of data for you. Here are some of the other capabilities of Microsoft Access that you'll learn about in this book:

  • Present an easy-to-use interface for entering new data

  • Find related data quickly (for example, find all books by a particular author)

  • Display your data as a chart, graph, or Web page

  • Provide easy-to-understand reports that can be displayed onscreen or printed

  • Export data to Microsoft Word or Microsoft Excel

  • Protect your data from errors

  • Automate common operations to cut down on typing

The more you work with Access, the more you'll want to work with it. This book will get you up and running quickly. Then the sky's the limit!

Absolute Beginner's Guide to MicrosoftR Access 2002
Absolute Beginner's Guide to MicrosoftR Access 2002
Year: 2002
Pages: 133

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