ACL Bootcamp Exercise 2: High Impact Analysis

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This exercise is an introduction to combining tables using Joins and Relations in ACL. Learn the proper techniques for adding weight to the data you are analyzing. Visually build connections between different tables of data and combine a series of related files into one for maximum impact.

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  •  MEET THE TRAINERShane Grimm, ACDA: With over 20 years of experience using ACL, Shane is the Ironman of data analytics. His career began as an EDP Audit Specialist within an Internal Audit department and he moved to ACL as a Certified Trainer 12 years ago. During his time at ACL he has transitioned through various parts of the company and is now part of the development team as a Technical Product Manager and Product Evangelist. Shane has coached thousands of ACL users worldwide on techniques and best practices for optimal performance.
  • Bootcamp is here to help our customers use ACL more often. Each month, we’ll be focusing on a new topic to demonstrate simple techniques that are easy to apply immediately. To help me gauge who we have in our audience and guide how much detail to provide for some of the demonstrations, please take a moment to complete the first poll question. You should see this on the bottom right hand side of your screen. When was the last time you used ACL? (Will be visible for 30 seconds.) We’ll take a look at the results in a few minutes. We’ve had a lot of people ask if today’s session will be recorded and the answer is YES. You’ll be emailed a link to the recording tomorrow as well as a copy of the presentation.
  • We had some excellent response after last month’s exercise, “Script n’Stretch.” Keep the feedback coming. I’ll go over a few ways you can connect with us, but first, I’ll point out the next polling question that has just come up in the right hand side of your screen. How would you rank yourself as an ACL user? (Will be up for 30 seconds and you can present on Bootcamp feedback in the meantime.)If you have suggestions for future topics you’d like to see, let us know by leaving a comment. I would like to also encourage you to ask questions at anytime as we go along. I’ll answer as many as I can and the rest will be collected at the end of the session and we will send out responses as soon as we can.  Keep an eye on www.acl.com/bootcamp  , announcements and recordings will be made available there. For those of you that like to use twitter, remember the Twitter hashtag for this series is #aclbootcamp. You can check out all of our social media communities by visiting acl.com/social Comment on poll, if results available. Lets get started!
  • Today I will be introducing you to the tools in ACL that can be used to build these connections.
  • Example (2):Current table has a vendor number but you want to add a vendor name that is contained in a separate tableExample (3): Payments to vendors that don’t exist in your vendor master file (Phantom Vendors). Payments to employees that don’t exist in your HR file (Ghost Employees)Example (4): Vendor Master to OIG’s vendor exclusion listExample (5): Post implementation review, do the tables and calculations in the previous system match the current system.The ability to combine tables is a powerful ability of ACL Desktop. Compare disparate systems (systems that never were built to communicate with one another)Example: Employee overtime records from payroll to employee building access card logs
  • ACL overs a variety of tools, or ACL Commands, to combine tables together. Join – two separate tables brought together based on a key fieldRelations – two (or more) separate tablesExtract append – stacking tables with the same structure on top of one anotherMerge – mixing tables with the same structure into a specific sequential order. Think of it as Extract Append with an automatic sort.
  • Now that we have seen the tools, let’s look at our examples again and see what tool applies to each example.(CLICK x 5) to reveal each tool and discuss.Today we are going to focus on Join and RelationsA quick comment for the intermediate and advanced users out there… yes there are more ways to do this than what I’ve shown here. These are just my preferred tools for these examples.
  • DEMOOpen Sample Project.ACLMention data verificationOpen PayrollReview fieldsTotal gross_pay (mention that this value and record count is being written down)Open Work DeptsHighlight that department name would be useful to see part of payroll tableOpen EmpmastReview fieldsTotal pay_per_period (mention that this value and record count is being written down)Discuss relationships between tables and common key fieldsMention ERDs
  • Let me introduce you to my way of planning.I’m a big fan of technology but I still believe there are still cases where the good ‘ol pencil and paper can get the job done.When I start any project I always have a blank sheet of paper and a pencil next to me.I usually start out like this (CLICK)This method not only helps me plan, but it also forms part of my documentation.
  • OPEN PayrollOPEN WorkDepts SECONDARYJOIN key workdept UNMATCHED to Pay_Invalid_WorkDeptOPEN Pay_Invalid_WorkDeptReview Command LogMentiononly one recordeasy to just look it up manually, but will show the relations command to provide a way to deal with multiple records.RELATE employee_number WITH EmpMastCreate new View "Related View"Add Fields
  • Pause to ask audience what feature would they use? Join / Relate / Extract Append / Merge (POLL?)
  • Note: right away we see a difference in these tables during our planning. Why are there two more transactions in the Payroll table?
  • OPEN PayrollOPEN EmpMast SECONDARYJOIN key employee_number UNMATCHED to Ghost_EmpsOPEN Ghost_EmpsReview Command LogMentiononly two recordseasy to just look it up manually, but will show the relations command to provide a way to deal with multiple records.RELATE employee_number WITH EmpMastCreate new View "Related View"Add Fields
  • Today’s examples were simplified, there is a lot to learn about combining filesExample (1): Joining payroll to HR and there are multiple records in the HR file with the same employee number)Example (2): Joining invoices to vendor master and the vendor number is blank in the invoice tableExample (3): Phone numbers may include an extension or describe the extension differently, may include an “X” or dashes. ACL offers a number of ways to solve this issue through what I would call “Key field harmonization” but that is beyond today’s session.
  • I’ve tried other tools that attempt to sketch out these types of diagrams automatically for me. But nothing comes close to the flexibility of pencil and paper.
  • If your question doesn’t get answered today, we will be gathering all of the Q&A from today and following up by email.
  • If you’re a supported customer, you’ve likely visited the ACL Support Center. If you would like more information, contact your Account Manager.Forum is one of the ACL Community’s favourite resources. Here’s where you can converse and collaborate with users worldwide, including some of the world’s most well-known ACL experts
  • ACL has a talented and experienced team of in-house Consultants who can help maximize the return on your ACL investment.
  • Thanks for joining us this afternoon. Everyone who registered will get an email tomorrow with the recording, copy of the presentation, and link to the registration page for the next session on December 1. Data Access DrillsImprove stability and reduce reliance on IT by leveraging ACL's ODBC (Open Database Connectivity) data access capabilities. Learn how to gain control of your data extraction process to achieve efficient data selection and increase output.
  • ACL Bootcamp Exercise 2: High Impact Analysis

    1. 1. EXERCISE 2:High Impact Analysis Copyright © 2011 ACL Services Ltd.
    2. 2. ACL Services Ltd. Copyright © 2011 ACL Services Ltd. 2 YOUR COACH Shane Grimm, ACDA:  20 years of experience with ACL  Certified ACL Trainer @shanegrimm  Experienced coach of 1000’s of ACL users
    3. 3. ACL Services Ltd. Copyright © 2011 ACL Services Ltd. 3 Getting Back in Shape  ACL Bootcamp: New monthly webinar series designed to help ACL users of all levels learn new skills – Basic drills and also focusing on “problem areas”
    4. 4. ACL Services Ltd. Copyright © 2011 ACL Services Ltd. 4 ACL Bootcamp is Interactive  Suggestions for future topics?  Ask questions as we go along  Join the conversation at acl.com/social Let’s get started with Exercise 2: High Impact Analysis… #aclbootcamp
    5. 5. ACL Services Ltd. Copyright © 2011 ACL Services Ltd. 5 Today’s session High Impact Analysis  Learn the proper techniques for adding weight to the data you are analyzing. Visually build connections between different tables of data and combine a series of related files into one for maximum impact.
    6. 6. ACL Services Ltd. Copyright © 2011 ACL Services Ltd. 6 Reasons for building connections  Combine monthly tables together into one master table for the year  Gather additional information from a separate table to add more meaning to the current table  Look at two tables and find what records don’t exist in both  Look at two tables and filter the records that do exist in both  Look at two tables and compare to find the differences?  Any other examples?
    7. 7. ACL Services Ltd. Copyright © 2011 ACL Services Ltd. 7 Combining tables in ACL: available tools Join tables Relate tables Extract Append Merge
    8. 8. ACL Services Ltd. Copyright © 2011 ACL Services Ltd. 8 What tool to use to combine tables  Combine monthly tables together into one master Extract Append table for the year or Merge  Gather additional information from a separate Relate tables table to add more meaning to the current table  Look at two tables and find what records don’t Join tables exist in both  Look at two tables and filter the records that do Join tables exist in both  Look at two tables and compare to find the Join tables differences?
    9. 9. ACL Services Ltd. Copyright © 2011 ACL Services Ltd. 9 What is needed to join or relate two tables?  Both tables defined in the same ACL Project  A common piece of information in both tables that you can use to combine (a key field) Note: ACL Desktop 9.2 removes the requirement for key fields to have the same width or data type
    10. 10. ACL Services Ltd. Copyright © 2011 ACL Services Ltd. 10 The Scenario: Reviewing Payroll and HR Data  Three tables: – Payroll – Work Depts – Employee Master Let’s take a quick look at these tables Note: These files are available within “Sample Project.ACL”. This project is automatically added when you install ACL Desktop. Default location is C:ACL DataSample Data Files.
    11. 11. ACL Services Ltd. Copyright © 2011 ACL Services Ltd. 11 Workout #1  Check payroll coding by comparing payroll to work departments – Ensure only valid work departments are being used
    12. 12. ACL Services Ltd. Copyright © 2011 ACL Services Ltd. 12 The Planning  Compare Payroll to Work Departments
    13. 13. ACL Services Ltd. Copyright © 2011 ACL Services Ltd. 13 The Planning  Key field is work department code (for example “AOO”, “B01”)  Looking for differences, use UNMATCHED
    14. 14. ACL Services Ltd. Copyright © 2011 ACL Services Ltd. 14 Let’s see a Demo
    15. 15. ACL Services Ltd. Copyright © 2011 ACL Services Ltd. 15 Summary  Planning – sketch out steps beforehand  Used Join to find differences between two files (Payroll and Work Departments)  Used Join’s Unmatched option  ACL’s Join command can combine files in a number of different ways.  Used Relate to bring in useful information to complement my data (Employee name)
    16. 16. ACL Services Ltd. Copyright © 2011 ACL Services Ltd. 16 Workout #2  Find Ghost Employees  Employees in Payroll table that do not exist in the Empmast table
    17. 17. ACL Services Ltd. Copyright © 2011 ACL Services Ltd. 17 The Planning  Compare Payroll to Employee Master
    18. 18. ACL Services Ltd. Copyright © 2011 ACL Services Ltd. 18 The Planning  Key field is employee number (for example “00010”, “00020”)  Looking for differences, use UNMATCHED
    19. 19. ACL Services Ltd. Copyright © 2011 ACL Services Ltd. 19 Let’s see a Demo
    20. 20. ACL Services Ltd. Copyright © 2011 ACL Services Ltd. 20 Things to watch out for  Watch out for cases where there are multiple records with the same key field value  Watch out for blanks  Watch out for inconsistencies in your key field – Extra symbols, “(604) 555-1234” will not match “604 555-1234” – Case sensitive, “A003” will not match “a003”
    21. 21. ACL Services Ltd. Copyright © 2011 ACL Services Ltd. 21 Summary  Planning  Used Join tables (unmatched) for Payroll and EmpMast  Used Relate tables for work department name  Review your results and look for blanks
    22. 22. ACL Services Ltd. Copyright © 2011 ACL Services Ltd. 22 Do more  You can do more advanced testing, including: – Relate up to 18 tables at the same time – Join on multiple key fields – Use different join methods, including many-to-many – Use Join as a filter, e.g. find all transactions for only the vendors that exist in a separate table – Combine files from different systems with key fields that are dissimilar  Start simple  Expand your knowledge each time you use ACL – Perform a test with Join and then try performing the same test with Relations  Have fun and be creative!
    23. 23. ACL Services Ltd. Copyright © 2011 ACL Services Ltd. 23 Q&A
    24. 24. ACL Services Ltd. Copyright © 2011 ACL Services Ltd. 24 ACL Support Center – Find answers to your most commonly asked questions – Knowledge base: Hundreds of tips and best practices to help you successfully access data, combine commands, create scripts – User Forum: Share tips and exchange experiences with ACL users around the globe
    25. 25. ACL Services Ltd. Copyright © 2011 ACL Services Ltd. 25 ACL Consulting – Analytics Capability Benchmarking & Workshops – Hands-on coaching & mentoring – Ad-hoc / Continuous Auditing / Monitoring analytics implementation services – Data access, validation and preparation services – Talk to your ACL Account Manager for more details
    26. 26. More InformationNext Exercise Thursday, December 1:Data Access Drills

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