The company I work for produces a lot of test data in raw text files from lots of different devices. Each device belongs to a 'process' of which there are only a few dozen. Currently we have a program which takes this data and produces/adds to an Access database (currently .mdb, however we are hoping to change to .accdb because it's newer and better?) of the appropriate process.
We then use Excel to view the data from the databases in a pivot table. The database files themselves rarely get close to 1 GB (maybe a few a year) at which point we archive the database and create a new one as this is the size limit. We never need to access the data of multiple processes at the same time, so we have never had an issue with them being in separate databases.
Someone in our IT department has suggested that we switch to an SQL database, where all of the data for all processes will be stored, and the data will just have an extra column labelling the process it belongs to.
My worry is that in accessing this data through Excel we would only ever be querying one process at a time, but the database would have to filter through all of the other processes, which would surely take longer, since it is having to query dozens of times more data?
Is there any disadvantage to sticking with our current system of multiple databases, one for each process which we only access one at a time, instead of collecting them all into a large database? And conversely are there advantages of having a single large database system like this? Am I wrong and it would be faster to use a large SQL database than multiple small Access databases?