Designing Reports   «Prev  Next»
Lesson 1

Designing and Creating Report in Microsoft Access

Generating reports is a pivotal component of data management and business intelligence. Within the Office 365 suite, Microsoft Access serves as a robust tool for database management that includes an extensive reporting feature. Reports in Microsoft Access are not merely a visual representation of data; they are designed to facilitate advanced analysis, interpretation, and decision-making. Here are scenarios when you should employ the report-generating capabilities of Microsoft Access:

Data Summarization:

When your dataset is extensive, containing multiple fields and records, extracting meaningful insights can be challenging. Microsoft Access reports can summarize this data, condensing complex tables into digestible formats.

Multi-Dimensional Analysis:

Unlike simple data-viewing tools, Access reports allow for the integration of data from multiple tables, enabling multi-dimensional analysis. You can generate reports that encompass various business aspects, merging, for instance, sales data with customer demographics.

Data Transformation:

Microsoft Access reports provide the ability to perform calculations on your data, thus transforming raw data into actionable metrics. These can include statistical operations, conditional logic, and custom business formulas.

Regulatory Compliance:

In sectors where regulatory reporting is obligatory, Microsoft Access's report generation capabilities facilitate the compilation of comprehensive, standardized reports that meet regulatory requirements.

Trend Identification:

Over time, analyzing reports can highlight trends, shifts, and patterns that may not be readily visible through a simple examination of the raw data. Access reports can be formatted to emphasize these trends.

Communication and Presentation:

A well-structured report provides a meaningful way to communicate findings to both technical and non-technical stakeholders. Access reports can be exported in various formats, such as PDF and Word, facilitating easy distribution and presentation.


Persistent record-keeping is critical for audit trails and historical analysis. Access reports, which can be saved and replicated, serve as a valuable form of documentation.

User Interaction:

Reports in Access can be designed to include interactive elements, such as buttons and links, making it easier for users to navigate through the information and make real-time decisions.

When Not To Use Access Reports:

  1. Big Data Scenarios: Microsoft Access is not designed to handle big data. If your dataset extends into the realm of big data, consider more scalable solutions.
  2. Real-Time Analysis: Access is not geared for real-time data reporting. If your requirements include real-time analytics, other specialized tools would be more appropriate.

Key Considerations:

  1. Data Integrity: Ensure that the underlying data is accurate and up-to-date before generating reports.
  2. User Privileges: Only users with appropriate permissions should be able to generate or modify reports, especially those containing sensitive information.
  3. Customization: Access offers extensive customization options. Make sure to utilize these features to maximize the report's utility.
By employing Microsoft Access reports in these specified scenarios, you harness the capability to transform raw data into a structured, analyzable, and actionable format. This transformation is crucial for effective decision-making and strategy planning in any data-driven organization.
Reports are a terrific feature in Access and give you a way to present your data attractively. You can even group and summarize data easily by using the Report Wizard.
  1. After completing this module, you will be able to:
  2. Describe when to use a report
  3. Create a report using the AutoReport feature and the Report Wizard
  4. Navigate the report view
  5. Create mailing labels
  6. Edit and add controls in the Report Design view
  7. Use report sections
  8. Create a calculated control
  9. Add page breaks to a report

Create Reports Manually

Reports often include sets of information that are related to the topic of the report, but not necessarily related to each other.
For example, a report might include information about the production, marketing, and sales activities of a company. Or it might include information about compensation and the pension plan of a company. Each topic is related to a particular aspect of running the business, but the topics do not all fit nicely into the structure of an individual Microsoft Access 2013 report. One solution to this problem is to create separate reports, print them, and store them together in a binder. Another is to save them in electronic format in a folder or on a network. An easier and more sophisticated solution is to combine them by using subreports. In this chapter, you will build a fairly complex report.
You will start by creating the report shell (the main report) manually in Design view. Then you will modify the layout and content of the shell report. Finally, you will provide detailed information by embedding a subreport within the main report.
Forms and reports are incredibly powerful components of the Access toolset. Access forms enable you to build user interfaces on top of database tables, providing a robust rapid application development platform for many types of organizations. Access reports allow you to easily integrate your database analysis with polished PDFstyle reporting functionality, complete with grouping, sorting, and conditional formatting.