There are plenty of technologies to collect, process and analyze data, such as Excel,Power BI, Access, Python, MySQL, etc. But how to choose the right technology beween above mentioned technologies is a big problem for new beginners. Because once you choose a technology, you will spend so much time to learn and master the details of the technology.
For instance, as for the same problem, you can use both Excel or Power BI or Python to solve it. But which one should you use? From my personal experience, you can make a decision by two criteria: the volume of data and your long-term learning objective.
Decide by the volume of data
1~50 k rows: Excel
50 k~500 k rows: Access, Python
500 k~5000 k rows: R, Python, MySQL
If you are a data scientist or researcher, Python or R + MySQL or other databases is your first choice.
If you seldom do data analysis, maybe Excel Power Query or Power BI is enough.
Decide by long term objective
If you have a goal to do data analysis related job in the future, you need to master either Excel/Power Query/Power BI/ or Programming language like Python or R.
One thing that you need to keep it in your mind is that Excel or Power Query /Power BI is much slower than Python + MySQL for large data set. Even if you use more proficient formula, the speed will not change too much. For Data larger than 5 Mb, I strongly reccommend to use Python. Also, it’s better to write your original data to database like MySQL at first. It really saved me a lof of time.