ACL Certified Data Analyst

ACL Certified Data Analyst Bootcamp Series

Welcome to the first edition of the ACL Certified Data Analyst Bootcamp Series! This blog series is intended to help you get started or better familiarize yourself with ACL Analytics, and expose you to resources that will help you in your journey. By taking advantage of the resources presented in this blog series, we know that in no time, you’ll not only be comfortable with navigating the ACL Analytics environment and using it to perform powerful analyses–you’ll be well on your way to becoming an ACL Certified Data Analyst (ACDA).

In this edition, we’ll be (re)introducing you to ACL Launchpad, your portal to everything ACL. We will go over the top four things you may not know you had with your ACL subscription in ACL Launchpad. We will then answer the most popular FAQs and share the tips of the month.

4 Things You Didn’t Know You Had With Your ACL Subscription in ACL Launchpad

When was the last time you have logged into ACL Launchpad? Today? A week ago? Three months ago? Let’s take a step back and ask yourself this question: Do you even know what ACL Launchpad is?

ACL Launchpad is a single, centralized location for accessing and managing everything related to your ACL subscription. It is not only a place where you can download the latest version of ACL for Windows software, but you can also access all types of free customer resources. That’s right! There are many free resources that come along with your ACL subscription. Some of the most commonly known resources are Help Docs and ACL Community, the forum to interact with fellow ACL users and contact Support. There are many more hidden gems within your ACL Launchpad, so let’s take a look at the following four things that you might not know you have with your subscription:

1. Test your ACL Analytics skills and work towards earning your ACL Certified Data Analyst (ACDA) designation – for FREE

ACL Certified Data Analyst (ACDA) is an industry recognized certification that demonstrates an individual’s ability to integrate ACL data analysis techniques into their business processes. ACL currently offers an ACDA Intermediate level of certification, and an Advanced level will be available at the end of March 2017. ACDA Intermediate Certification is awarded upon the completion of what we call a Level-Up process. The Level-Up process involves passing four sequential levels (replacing the single exam that previously existed for Intermediate certification). Everyone that holds an active ACL Launchpad account can complete Levels 1-3 for free! You can complete these levels at your own pace and you have an unlimited number of attempts to pass.

To whet your appetite, here are a few questions taken from Levels 1-3 for you to try out:

Sample Question 1:

Which datetime functions does ACL support? Select all that apply.

  • CDOW()
  • EOMONTH()
  • GOMONTH()
  • HOUR()
  • LASTYEAR()
  • MINUTE()
  • NEXTYEAR()
  • NOW()
  • SECOND()
  • STOT()
  • TIME()
  • TODAY()
Sample Question 2:

Which of the methods, commands and functions listed below can be used to determine if there are blanks in a character field named emp_no?

  • OCCURS(emp_no, ” ” ) > 0
  • FIND(” “, emp_no)
  • ISBLANK(emp_no)
  • Run the Verify command
  • Index the table, then scroll through the data to pick out the blank records
Sample Question 3:

Which of the following strings below would this expression return? REGEXFIND(Last_Name,”^Goo?n”).

  • Gon
  • gon
  • Gones
  • gones
  • Goony
  • gooven

Did you know the answers to any of these questions? If you do, then congratulations, you are one step closer to earning your ACL Certified Data Analyst (ACDA) designation!

Are you ready to add “ACDA” after your name? Follow these three easy steps to find more about the ACDA Certification Program:

  1. Select “Training” on the right panel in your ACL Launchpad
  2. Scroll down to the “ACDA certification” section
  3. Click on “Learn more” for more information OR “Enroll” to get started

2. Download pre-built ACL scripts to accelerate your data analysis

Do you find your data analysis process too manual and cumbersome? Fear not! ACL to the rescue with ScriptHub – a web-based library of ACL tested and approved script items developed by ACL employees and passionate ACL users. Just “plug and play” these into your ACL projects. Learn more about ScriptHub here >>

Depending on what you are trying to achieve, there are various types of scripts that can help you reach your goal, such as scripts that can help import, prepare or analyze data, or code snippets (little pieces of scripts that can be reused through the analysis). Although these scripts are pre-built to help you power up your processes in your ACL project, you have the added convenience of being able to edit them–giving you flexibility and control to suit your needs.

Here are a few of the featured scripts that you may find useful:

  • Vendor Master Module – Vendor-Employee Match – This script identifies vendors and employees that have identical or similar names, initials, addresses, phone numbers, tax IDs or bank account numbers.
  • Weekend and Holiday Transactions – This script identifies transactions that occur on weekends or holidays.
  • Date Dimensions – This script calculates several date dimensions for a user specified date range.

You can visit the ScriptHub Library by following these steps:

  1. Select “Tools & Templates” on the right panel in your ACL Launchpad
  2. Click on “Visit the Library” under the ScriptHub section
  3. You can either search for the script of interest or select “Full ScriptHub Catalog” to find the desired scripts in the catalog

3. Share your product ideas with ACL and vote for the ones you like

If you have a great idea about how to make ACL Analytics better, we want to hear from you! Our team of Product Designers are all ears when it comes to ideas and suggestions on how we can improve our technology. Don’t be afraid to speak up! Share it with us and your peers in ACL Community.

Nothing specific coming to mind but still want to influence our product roadmap? No problem! Take a look at product ideas submitted by your peers, find the ones you really like, and up-vote them! The more votes an idea gets, the higher the chance our Product Design team will add it/enhance it in our software.

You can submit your product ideas in three easy steps:

  1. Select “Peer Community” on the right panel in your ACL Launchpad
  2. Click on the “Share Product Ideas” button in the ACL Community Home page
  3. Click on “Submit New Idea” to start sharing

4. Get started with ACL Analytics by taking our FREE foundations training in ACL Academy

We understand that learning something new can be difficult and overwhelming. That’s why we have designed ACL Academy, a training resource that contains online courses, training content, and how-to tutorials, to help you learn how to use our products. These resources are available to you 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, 365 days year for FREE!

Don’t know where to start? Hop into ACL Academy and take the “ACL Analytics Foundations” training course today! This course teaches you the basics to start utilizing ACL Analytics to increase your efficiency, assess and reconcile from disparate systems, achieve analysis objectives, report issues and automate your processes.

Enter ACL Academy by following these simple steps:

  1. Select “Training” on the right panel in your ACL Launchpad
  2. Scroll down to the “Academy – Online Training” section
  3. Click on “View Course Catalog” for a full list of online courses we offer OR “Get Started” to jump right into ACL Academy!


Frequently Asked Questions

Here are some Frequently Asked Questions for new users:

  • I don’t have access to ACL Launchpad, how can I get an account set up?
    • You will need to contact your organization’s account administrator to invite you to be part of your organization before you can set up your account.
  • How do I find out who my Account Administrator is?
    • Your Account Administrator will default to the primary contact that we have on file for your organization. If you have trouble determining who your Account Administrator is, please contact ACL Support Services.
  • I am not receiving the activation email from ACL Launchpad. What’s wrong?
    • Please check your spam filter. The activation email should be sent from notifications@aclgrc.com. Be sure that your Account Administrator used the correct email to invite you to the Launchpad. If you cannot locate your activation email, you can resend it to yourself using the “Forgot Password” link at www.aclgrc.com.
  • I can’t login with my credentials. What do I do now?
    • There are a few things you can try:
      • Use the “Forgot Password” option on the login screen in case your account has been set up but your password needs to be reset.
      • Have your Account Administrator check to make sure that your user account has been added to the organization and that your email account is correct.
      • Note that you must activate your account by clicking a link in your welcome email. Look for an email from notifications@aclgrc.com in your inbox.
      • If you continue to have issues, please contact ACL Support Services.
  • How come my ACL Launchpad password becomes invalid after several months? Is there an expiry date to my password?
    • Password expiration is disabled by default but your Account Administrator has authority to set a password expiration to the your organization’s setting. Please contact your Account Administrator to find out if password expiration was set up.

Tip of the Month

We have two hot tips for you this month:

  1. If you haven’t already, upgrade to the latest version of ACL for Windows (v12) TODAY! Do you currently hold an ACL Analytics v10.0 or v10.5 license? Here are some upcoming changes that you need to know. Your software will continue to work, but after February 2017, ACL will no longer provide technical support or perform any maintenance or security updates for these versions. For those who are using ACL Analytics v11, we strongly recommend you to upgrade to the latest version in order to take full advantage of all the great new features in v12. How do you upgrade to the newest version? Sign into your ACL Launchpad account through www.aclgrc.com, click on “ACL for Windows” under the “Downloads & Mobile Apps” section, and follow the instructions to download and install. If you need assistance, contact ACL Support Services at support@acl.com.
  2. Now that you have learned about the free resources you have, bookmark ACL Launchpad in your browser so you can easily access it every day!

Learn more best practices and how to make the most out of your ACL technology at ACL Connections, September 24-27 in Nashville, TN. This event features four days of training and offers 21.5 CPE credits. Access the full event details here >>

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