Summarizing data

Summarizing data creates an overview that can help identify trends or irregularities. ACL provides several summarizing operations that allow you to determine how many records and how much value is concentrated by value range, time period, or other record identifiers such as location codes, vendor/customer numbers, transaction codes, or product identifiers. These operations are also useful for identifying outliers, either in financial or age terms.

From a functional standpoint, all the summarizing operations are essentially grouping operations. They group the records in a table into numeric intervals, or aging periods, or groups based on values, or combinations of values, in fields. Once records are grouped, various sorts of patterns can become more evident.

Choose from the operations described in Table 1, depending on the type of investigation or analysis you want to perform.

Table 1. Data summarization operations

Operation

Data type

Functionality

Output

Stratify

Numeric

Use Stratify to summarize numeric data. Groups records into numeric intervals within a range, and subtotals on specified numeric fields. You can specify the size of the range, and the number of intervals in the range.

  • Screen

  • Graph

  • Print

  • File (text or ACL table)

Age

Datetime

Use Age to summarize datetime data. Groups records into date ranges or aging periods, and subtotals on specified numeric fields.

  • Screen

  • Graph

  • Print

  • File (text)

Classify

Character

Use Classify to summarize character data. Groups records based on values in a character field, and subtotals on specified numeric fields.

  • Screen

  • Graph

  • Print

  • File (ACL table)

Summarize

Character or Datetime

Use Summarize to summarize character or datetime data. Groups records based on values in one or more character or datetime fields, and subtotals on specified numeric fields. Summarize is similar to Classify, but Summarize allows you to group records by more than one field.

  • Screen

  • Print

  • File (ACL table)

Cross-tabulate

Character

Use Cross-tabulate to summarize character data. Groups records based on values in two or more character fields, and displays the resulting groups in a grid of rows and columns. Also subtotals on specified numeric fields. Cross-tabulate is similar to Summarize using two character fields.

  • Screen

  • Graph

  • Print

  • File (text or ACL table)

Histogram

Character or Numeric

Use Histogram to summarize character or numeric data. Groups records based on values in a character or a numeric field, and displays the resulting groups in a bar chart. Does not support subtotaling numeric fields. Histogram using a character field is similar to Classify. Histogram using a numeric field is similar to Stratify.

  • Screen

  • Graph

  • Print

  • File (text)

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