The difference between MS Excel and MS Access

Microsoft Excel:
Microsoft Excel is used to displays the data in horizontal and vertical rows. The data are usually stored in the cells. We have an option of formulas in the Excel that can be used for data, data analysis, statistical analysis, and its place of storage.

  • You can even add any charts, graphics, etc. to make it more presentable.
  • Excel locks the whole spreadsheet once it is accessed.
  • An Excel document is referred to as a workbook and each of these workbooks must contain at least one worksheet.

Microsoft Access:
Microsoft Access is a database program, it uses unique ID numbers and an editable list of data to store details on large amounts of items, i.e., you could use this program to store large amount of data.

  • Access is designed to have multiple users working in the same DB files along with the various safety precautions items to help protect the data such as record level locking.
  • The database created in Access is saved with a .mdb extension.
  • Data is stored in tables.
  • Each field of a table can be associated with certain constraints like only allowing an alphanumeric value or different datatypes.
  • Like any other relational database, it works on the principles of tables, fields, and relationships. It supports different kinds of datatypes – numbers, dates, texts, etc.
MS ExcelMS Access
Microsoft Excel is an application that uses spreadsheets to create charts, graphs, tabular models.Microsoft Access is an application that acts as a database program. Access deal with database program by collecting, sorting, and manipulating data.
It is used for spreadsheets,  statistical and financial calculations.   Excel helps in performing sophisticated what-if analysis operations on your data, such as statistical, engineering, and regression analysis.It is used for storing and manipulating large amounts of information.   Access do not perform what-if analysis.
Microsoft Excel is easy to learn.Microsoft access is quite hard to learn.   Access that needs programming knowledge for some part.  
The storage capacity is less since excel isn’t built for storing data.The storage capacity is more since access is mainly built for storing, sorting, and manipulating databases.
Excel is less flexibility as compared to access.Access has more flexibility as compared to excel.
It works on the data model of a non-relational or flat worksheet.It works on the model of multiple relational tables and sheets.
It locks the entire spreadsheet.It locks data at the record level.
Excel is good for short term solutions and small-scale projectsAccess is good for long term solutions and large-scale projects.
Microsoft ProductMicrosoft Product


Microsoft Excel and Access are great tools for data exploration of structured and unstructured data, which has earned a top spot amongst tools used by Data Scientists and Analysts.

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