This month’s featured article is brought to you by Sam Ford, a recent starter in DataConsulting’s Professional Services Group.
In keeping with DataConsulting’s tradition, it brings me great pleasure to write an article for this month’s newsletter. In this article, I am going to show you why you need to upgrade to the latest version of ACL Analytics right now. Here are some of my top features in AN 11 which I believe will help you get the most out of your analysis.
Waiting for an ACL command or a script to finish running is, let’s face it, boring. AN 11 offers a significant performance boost over pre-11.0 versions. This has been achieved by optimising code in several areas to make processing faster and by making the engine multi-threaded.
As with most ACL updates, a range of new functions has been released. Among them is the WORKDAY( ) and HASH( ) functions. The WORKDAY( ) function allows you to calculate the number of work days between two dates and specify which days of the week should be treated as non-workdays. While the HASH( ) function improves security by encrypting sensitive fields or data.
Also included in the new update is the ability to produce statistical information on subtotalled fields while using the Classify, Stratify, Age and Summarize commands. This allows you to see the maximum, minimum and average values for each unique value, strata or data range.
New to AN 11.0 is the ability to create beautiful visualisations in Analysis Apps. Analysis Apps and the new Analysis App window allow you to illustrate your analysis, enabling others to understand your conclusions. It is also possible to save your complex scripts as Analysis Apps, allowing you to automate your analysis steps. New tools provide interactive input and running of scripts without worrying about the end user accidentally changing your scripts. Below are some examples of the visualisations that can be created with an Analysis App
Above is a table as it appears in an Analysis App. It is considerably nicer on the eye than a table in ACL Analytics. Next to each column header there is a filter icon, this allows you to quickly filter out any data you do not wish to include in the final report.
Above we have a bubble chart. This option allows you to plot two columns against each other but with the added ability of emphasising certain points. The colour of each point can be changed with respect to the entries in a third column e.g. each customer number can have a different colour. It is also possible to alter the size of each point with respect to values in a numerical column e.g. sales orders of a large value have a larger bubble than smaller value.
It is also possible to create a pie chart as seen above. Other visualisation options include bar charts, stacked area charts and line charts which can all be exported as images.
So that concludes my article about some of the highlights of AN 11. You can find the complete list here but hopefully I have convinced you that AN 11 is worth the upgrade. If you would like more information about any ACL product please don’t hesitate to contact us and we will be more than happy to help.