I’m learning Microsoft Access as part of a class from UW’s Information School. A lot of people are down on Microsoft, but in my opinion they usually do a good job with Office products. Access is pretty easy to learn and use and it seems powerful. It’s actually a great way to organize information even if you aren’t going to use much of the database functionality. I put some of the World Bank LSMS data I’ve been analyzing for my thesis and it’s a great way to visualize the linkages. The World Bank data has over 30 files with various one-to-one, many-to-one, and one-to-many relationships and Access seems like it would be a good platform to get a handle on the data. Although you can’ t do hardcore data analysis with Access, I think for simple data exploration using reports, queries, and forms could be quite useful.
Below are a couple of screenshots of some of the project assignments we’ve had that simulate a community college administration office.