ACL Bootcamp Exercise 3: Data Access Drills


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Improve 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 increase output.

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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.
  • Just before we get started, I would like learn a bit more about our audience. I will be including a few polls throughout today’s session. The first one should be appearing at the bottom right of your screen, please take a moment to answer this poll.BootCamp is meant to get people using ACL again. Each month, we’ll be focusing on a new topic and showing you simple techniques that are easy to apply immediately.  If you have suggestions for future topics you’d like to see, let us know by leaving a comment. You’re also encouraged to ask questions 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 our Support staff will reach out to you directly. Twitter hashtag for this series is #aclbootcampAs usual, we’re recording today’s session. You’ll be emailed a link to the recording tomorrow as well as a copy of this presentation. We’re at Exercise 3 of the series and if you missed any of the previous sessions, you can check out for the recordings.  
  • Today we have a special guest with us, a representative from our ACL Consulting group has agreed to join us to help out with questions ...
  • We have a second poll question… 
  • Working with Excel files
  • (30 minute mark!) If your question doesn’t get answered today, we will be gathering all of the Q&A from today and following up by email.Adrian, here’s an interesting question for you…
  • If you’re a supported customer, you’ve likely visited the ACL Support Center. You’ll find a huge knowledge base here, as well as the Forum, which is one of the ACL Community’s favourite resources. Here’s where you can converse and collaborate with users worldwide.We also offer a variety of on-site training classes. We’ve just scratched the surface of ODBC in our “Data Access Drills” session today. ACL 105 and 303 offer more in-depth information on data access and scripting your data imports.
  • If you’re looking for more in-depth ACL expertise, we have a talented team of in-house Consultants who can work with you to address specific business challenges. Adrian will tell us a bit more about what his team does…Adrian: Go over bullets…Contact your Account Manager for more information.
  • 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 Jan 12. Next session is Computed Fields Cross Training, January 12. (I’ll give you a Bootcamp break for the holidays…)
  • ACL Bootcamp Exercise 3: Data Access Drills

    1. 1. EXERCISE 3:Data Access Drills 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 is a monthly webinar series designed to help ACL users of all levels learn new skills  Basic drills and also focusing on “problem areas”  #aclbootcamp *Poll Question # 1
    4. 4. ACL Services Ltd. Copyright © 2011 ACL Services Ltd. 4 GUEST SPEAKER Adrian Poon, CMA, CISA, ACDA  4 years audit experience with a Big 4 firm  Over 5 years experience using ACL  Certified Management Accountant (CMA) and ACL Certified Data Analyst (ACDA)
    5. 5. ACL Services Ltd. Copyright © 2011 ACL Services Ltd. 5 Introduction ACL and Data Access  ACL is all about data access  We have been helping our customers access data for 25 years *Poll Question # 2
    6. 6. ACL Services Ltd. Copyright © 2011 ACL Services Ltd. 6 Powerhouse of Data Retrieval ACL Desktop provides access to data, such as: – Microsoft Excel and Microsoft Access – dBase – Flat files – Report files (print-image) – Delimited files – XML – Various sources through ODBC ACL AuditExchange extends this power to connect with: – DB2 – SQL Server – Oracle
    7. 7. ACL Services Ltd. Copyright © 2011 ACL Services Ltd. 7 Hauling in Excel Files Three steps: 1. Open file in Excel and review 2. Define file in ACL Desktop 3. Review and validate
    8. 8. ACL Services Ltd. Copyright © 2011 ACL Services Ltd. 8 Let’s see a Demo
    9. 9. ACL Services Ltd. Copyright © 2011 ACL Services Ltd. 9 Hauling in Excel Files REVIEW  Excel file must be in a format that resembles an ACL Table » Remove blank lines » Remove subtotals or total lines  Column titles  Defining a range  Review and validate import  ACLScript to automate multiple imports
    10. 10. ACL Services Ltd. Copyright © 2011 ACL Services Ltd. 10 Sprinting with ODBC  Open DataBase Connectivity (ODBC)  A standardized method of transferring data to and from different database management systems  Many products use this technology to communicate with a database  WARNING: ODBC is capable of reading and writing. However, ACL is only capable of reading and will not write to your database
    11. 11. ACL Services Ltd. Copyright © 2011 ACL Services Ltd. 11 Sprinting with ODBC  You require a driver that is specific for your database  Every computer has its own set of ODBC drivers.  To see what drivers are installed on your computer Control Panel > System and Security > Administrative Tools > Data Sources (ODBC)  Microsoft Windows provides a few default drivers: » dBase Files » Excel Files » MS Access Database  Additional drivers can be added  Most databases require a User ID and Password  You must have a network connection to the database
    12. 12. ACL Services Ltd. Copyright © 2011 ACL Services Ltd. 12 Let’s see a Demo
    13. 13. ACL Services Ltd. Copyright © 2011 ACL Services Ltd. 13 Sprinting with ODBC REVIEW  ODBC is a flexible method to access different types of data  Requires the correct driver specific to the database type » Most database manufacturers provide their own driver (not all are free) » Lots of good resources on the web. See Ken North’s site for a comprehensive list of ODBC drivers:  ODBC is read/write but ACL is read only
    14. 14. ACL Services Ltd. Copyright © 2011 ACL Services Ltd. 14 Sprinting with ODBC REVIEW  ODBC uses a SQL WHERE clause to filter data Unfortunately the syntax changes slightly depending on the database. Contact your database administrator for assistance writing a SQL statement  A database can have tables and views  ODBC data sources can be refreshed  ODBC imports can be scripted
    15. 15. ACL Services Ltd. Copyright © 2011 ACL Services Ltd. 15 Q&A
    16. 16. ACL Services Ltd. Copyright © 2011 ACL Services Ltd. 16 Additional Resources 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 ACL Training  ACL 105, Foundations of ACL: Instructor-led course with detailed section on accessing different data sources  ACL 303, Functions and Scripts: Instructor-led course with detailed section on scripting your data imports
    17. 17. ACL Services Ltd. Copyright © 2011 ACL Services Ltd. 17 Additional Resources ACL Consulting  Team of subject matter experts and technical consultants with access to thousands of analytic tests  Implementation methodology supports both onsite and remote solution development  Expertise across a variety of industries
    18. 18. Next ACL BootcampThursday, January 12, 2012Exercise 4: Computed FieldsCross TrainingRegister at