Jul 03

Inspection Software for the National Archives and Records Administration (NARA)

National Archives and Records Administration (NARA)With the upcoming 4th of July celebrations, we at FMS are proud to have worked with the National Archives and Records Administration (NARA) over the past year to help them better maintain and preserve the important documents of our nation. Here’s what we did in our new case study: Inspection Software for the National Archives and Records Administration (NARA)

About the National Archives

The National Archives and Records Administration (NARA) is the record keeper for the United States. Of all documents and materials created in the course of business by the United States Federal government, only 1%-3% are important enough for legal or historical reasons that they are kept by NARA forever.

Natonal Archives Building in Washington DC

Background

To ensure the quality of work performed by their Facilities Management service providers, the National Archives and Records Administration performs both random and targeted inspections of completed work orders.

Problem

Inspection findings were documented on paper, which ironically, wasn’t efficient for the NARA. Reports were manually created to generate the service results. This manual process was time consuming and prone to human error.

Solution

FMS was selected to create a professional, multiuser system to collect the inspection results electronically and generate a variety of management reports.Within two months, we deployed our solution which offers data entry screens to replicate a variety of existing forms and many new management reports. An intuitive user interface made it easy for users without requiring extensive training. More importantly, we established a solid database foundation to improve NARA processes both today and into the future.

Operational Impact

  • Stores inspection results into a shared database
  • Increases efficiency and accuracy of the collection and reporting process
  • Gathers information and performs statistical analysis in ways that were previously not available
  • Eliminates the need to maintain paper files
May 24

Microsoft Access Crosstab Queries in Reports on the Microsoft Access Developer Blog

FMS developer Molly Pell is featured as a guest blogger on the Microsoft Access developer blog.

This post demonstrates how to use the Pivot statement to control column names returned by crosstab queries, allowing crosstabs to be used on reports.

Microsoft Access Crosstab Query

Check out the post here: Using crosstab queries in reports

For another paper with an example of Creating an Annual 12 Month Summary Report without VBA Code by Creatively Using a Microsoft Access Crosstab Query

Apr 23

Microsoft Access versus Microsoft Excel for Data Analysis and Reporting

Microsoft ExcelMicrosoft AccessChoosing Between
Spreadsheets and Databases

We are often asked by Microsoft Office power users whether, why, and when they should use Microsoft Access versus Microsoft Excel. Especially when they are very comfortable using MS Excel and don’t understand the reasons why anyone would use MS Access or databases. We’ve written a new paper that describes the issues in detail:

  • How Microsoft Access and Excel Empower Information Workers
  • Advantages of Microsoft Excel Spreadsheets
  • Disadvantages of Microsoft Excel Spreadsheets
  • Advantages of Microsoft Access and Databases
  • Disadvantages of Microsoft Access
  • How they Should Work Together

Paper: Microsoft Access versus Microsoft Excel for Data Analysis and Reporting (Spreadsheets vs. Databases)