About classifying

Classifying groups the records in a table into classes based on unique values in a character field, and counts the number of records in each class. You can also subtotal specified numeric fields for each class.

You can classify sorted or unsorted tables. When you classify an unsorted table ACL automatically sorts the output results as part of the classify operation. Classifying unsorted tables requires ACL to create a variable for each unique value in the key field and store these variables in memory until the entire table is read. If you are working with a large table, storing the required variables requires a lot of RAM and can be slow.

You can save the results of classifying in a new table for further analysis and reporting with ACL, display the results on the screen, or send the results to a printer.

Classifying in detail

Classifying counts the number of records in a table and performs the following operations:

Table 1. Operations performed by classifying


Location in Figure 1

Groups the records based on unique values in a character field

Product Class field

Subtotals the number of records for each unique character value, and calculates the percentage of the total count represented by each subtotal

Count field

Percent of Count field

Optionally subtotals the values of one or more numeric fields for each unique character value, and for the first selected numeric field calculates the percentage of the total value represented by each subtotal

Inventory Value at Cost field

Percent of Field field

Provides totals for all fields included in the output results

Totals row

Optionally breaks down the output results based on the values in a character field such as customer ID or transaction type (requires that the character field is sorted prior to classifying)

not shown

Figure 1 provides an example of the results produced by classifying on product class, and subtotaling inventory value, in an inventory table (the ‘Inventory’ table in ACL DATA\Sample Data Files\Sample Project.ACL) and outputting the results to screen. The results show that the inventory value is concentrated in 4 product classes: 03, 04, 08, 09.

Figure 1. Classify results

Related concepts
Classifying versus summarizing
About summarizing
Related tasks
Classifying data

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