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  1. #1
    New Lounger
    Join Date
    Apr 2016
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    Question Using Access for reports containing lots of qualitative data

    Hello all,

    New user here.

    My friend and I are helping a small charity build an Access database to store all their records about their users (young people in supported accommodation). We've got a great system built which stores all the data about their young people, sessions with support workers and emergency call contact. The database is searchable and useful for internal management, but we want to create a template for generating weekly reports for each young person. This is to help their workers save time once they have entered all their data.

    In summary, I want to create something which pulls out all the data on the sessions held with each young person each week. The data comes from two tables "keywork" and "risks and capabilities". I've been experimenting with building reports from scratch, as the qualitative data stretches too far across the page if you use the Report Wizard. I've tried to do this using sub-reports within the report, which I have managed to make presentable, but I'm not sure it's the most efficient to update.

    Would you recommend keeping going with this approach (Access reports), or building something in Word that has bookmarks and can export data to? I also have a problem with blank spaces, but have seen other posts about minimising this.

    Thanks for any advice- most posts seem to be about numerical data, but Access was the most useful way to store their information so we are now trying to work out how to get it out!



  2. #2
    Super Moderator
    Join Date
    Aug 2001
    Evergreen, CO, USA
    Thanked 65 Times in 64 Posts
    Welcome to the Windows Secrets Databases forum. It appears you have done a good job of normalizing your data based on your relationships diagram. A couple of pieces of additional information would be useful, that being the version of Access you are using, and the number of users that will be working on the database.

    That said, your idea of using sub-reports is an excellent one - and there are tricks to eliminating the blank spaces when there isn't any data that involve making the sub-report controls on the main report a height of 0, and having headers of the sub-reports provide necessary space when there is data. It is also possible to automate Word from Access and produce reports that way, but it does involve extensive use of Visual Basic, and a good understanding of both the Word and Access object models. See Automation 101 for a rather dated, but still useful, introduction to Automation. Another approach is to export the data in delimited format (or to Excel), and then use the mail-merge features of Word, but unless your data is largely text, that may not be the best choice. My advice would be to tinker with the report/sub-report approach until you are convinced it won't work before taking a serious look at other approaches - in 9 out of 10 cases my experience tells me the Access report is the best choice.

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