Access Data Analysis Cookbook (Cookbooks) Review

Access Data Analysis Cookbook (Cookbooks)
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This book is not about designing forms, primary keys, or the use of built-in wizards to make easy queries or reports. This book is about applying Access to real-world business problems. The book addresses how to query data, how to move data to and from Access in various ways, the calculation of different financial and investment terms, and other such problems. The reader of this book should already have some Access experience and thus know how to get around the Access user interface, know basic table structures and relations among them, and how to construct simple queries. As long as you know this much or more, the book should be quite useful to anyone interested in business solutions using Access to analyze the data that is involved. The book consists of a series of recipes that provide example queries, programming tips, and also some requisite math. The following is a summary of each chapter's contents. Each section of each chapter is actually a recipe consisting of a problem - the section title - and its solution(s).
1. Query Construction - A variety of query issues are addressed, including the use of the AND, OR, IN, and NOT operators; creating union queries; and understanding join types.
1.1. Finding Unmatched Records
1.2. Making AND and OR Do What You Expect
1.3. Working with Criteria Using the IN Operator
1.4. Excluding Records with the NOT Operator
1.5. Parameterizing a Query
1.6. Returning a Top or Bottom Number of Records
1.7. Returning Distinct Records
1.8. Returning Random Records
1.9. Fine-Tuning Data Filtering with Subqueries
1.10. Combining Data with Union Queries
1.11. Inserting On-the-Fly Fields in Select Queries
1.12. Using Aliases to Simplify Your SQL Statements
1.13. Creating a Left Join
1.14. Creating a Right Join
1.15. Creating an Outer Join
2. Calculating with Queries - More on using queries to find solutions to business problems. It demonstrates how to apply aggregate functions, custom functions, regular expressions, and crosstabs.
2.1. Finding the Sum or Average in a Set of Data
2.2. Finding the Number of Items per Group
2.3. Using Expressions in Queries
2.4. Using Custom Functions in Queries
2.5. Using Regular Expressions in Queries
2.6. Using a Cartesian Product to Return All Combinations of Data
2.7. Creating a Crosstab Query to View Complex Information
3. Action Queries - How to apply queries to perform activities such as inserting, updating, and deleting data.
3.1. Running an Update Query
3.2. Appending Data
3.3. Deleting Data
3.4. Creating Tables with Make-Table Queries
4. Managing Tables, Fields, Indexes, and Queries - Introduces how to programmatically create and manipulate tables and queries.
4.1. Creating Tables Programmatically
4.2. Altering the Structure of a Table
4.3. Creating and Using an Index
4.4. Programmatically Removing a Table
4.5. Programmatically Creating a Query
5. Working with String Data - Recipes on managing text-based data. Shows how to isolate parts of a string, how to remove spaces at any place in a string, and how to manipulate numbers stored as text.
5.1. Returning Characters from the Left or Right Side of a String
5.2. Returning Characters from the Middle of a String When the Start Position and Length Are Known
5.3. Returning the Start Position of a Substring When the Characters Are Known
5.4. Stripping Spaces from the Ends of a String
5.5. Stripping Spaces from the Middle of a String
5.6. Replacing One String with Another String
5.7. Concatenating Data
5.8. Sorting Numbers That Are Stored as Text
5.9. Categorizing Characters with ASCII Codes
6. Using Programming to Manipulate Data - How to use arrays, access the Windows Registry, encrypt data, and use transaction processing. Also covered are search methods, charts, and manipulating data relationships.
6.1. Using Excel Functions from Access
6.2. Working with In-Memory Data
6.3. Working with Multidimensional Arrays
6.4. Sorting an Array
6.5. Flattening Data
6.6. Expanding Data
6.7. Encrypting Data
6.8. Applying Proximate Matching
6.9. Using Transaction Processing
6.10. Reading from and Writing to the Windows Registry
6.11. Creating Charts
6.12. Scraping Web HTML
6.13. Creating Custom Report Formatting
6.14. Rounding Values
6.15. Running Word Mail Merges
6.16. Building a Multifaceted Query Selection Screen
7. Importing and Exporting Data - Different ways of moving data into and out of Access. Covers import/ export specifications, using the FileSystemObject, XML with XSLT, and communicating with SQL Server. Exchanging data with other applications in the Office suite is also covered. Also covers how to create an RSS feed.
7.1. Creating an Import/Export Specification
7.2. Automating Imports and Exports
7.3. Exporting Data with the FileSystemObject
7.4. Importing Data with the FileSystemObject
7.5. Importing and Exporting Using XML
7.6. Generating XML Schemas
7.7. Using XSLT on Import or Export
7.8. Working with XML via the MSXML Parser
7.9. Reading and Writing XML Attributes
7.10. Creating an RSS Feed
7.11. Passing Parameters to SQL Server
7.12. Handling Returned Values from SQL Server Stored Procedures
7.13. Working with SQL Server Data Types
7.14. Handling Embedded Quotation Marks
7.15. Importing Appointments from the Outlook Calendar
7.16. Importing Emails from Outlook
7.17. Working with Outlook Contacts
7.18. Importing Data from Excel
7.19. Exporting Data to Excel
7.20. Talking to PowerPoint
7.21. Selecting Random Data
8. Date and Time Calculations - How to add time, count elapsed time, work with leap years, and manage time zones in your calculations.
8.1. Counting Elapsed Time
8.2. Counting Elapsed Time with Exceptions
8.3. Working with Time Zones
8.4. Working Around Leap Years
8.5. Isolating the Day, Month, or Year
8.6. Isolating the Hour, Minute, or Second
8.7. Adding Time
9. Business and Finance Problems - Ways of calculating depreciation, loan paybacks, and return on investment are introduced, and investment concerns such as moving averages, Head and Shoulders patterns, Bollinger Bands, and trend calculations are discussed. One recipe explains how latitude and longitude are used to determine distances between geographical areas.
9.1. Calculating Weighted Averages
9.2. Calculating a Moving Average
9.3. Calculating Payback Period
9.4. Calculating Return on Investment
9.5. Calculating Straight-Line Depreciation
9.6. Creating a Loan Payment Schedule
9.7. Using PivotTables and PivotCharts
9.8. Creating PivotTables
9.9. Charting Data
9.10. Finding Trends
9.11. Finding Head and Shoulders Patterns
9.12. Working with Bollinger Bands
9.13. Calculating Distance Between Zip Codes
Chapter 10. Statistics - The most math intensive of the chapters, it discusses statistical techniques such as frequency, variance, kurtosis, linear regression, combinations, and permutations. All the recipes here have great value in data analysis.
10.1. Creating a Histogram
10.2. Finding and Comparing the Mean, Mode, and Median
10.3. Calculating the Variance in a Set of Data
10.4. Finding the Covariance of Two Data Sets
10.5. Finding the Correlation of Two Sets of Data
10.6. Returning All Permutations in a Set of Data
10.7. Returning All Combinations in a Set of Data
10.8. Calculating the Frequency of a Value in a Set of Data
10.9. Generating Growth Rates
10.10. Determining the Probability Mass Function for a Set of Data
10.11. Computing the Kurtosis to Understand the Peakedness or Flatness of a Probability Mass Distribution
10.12. Determining the Skew of a Set of Data
10.13. Returning a Range of Data by Percentile
10.14. Determining the Rank of a Data Item
10.15. Determining the Slope and the Intercept of a Linear Regression
10.16. Measuring Volatility
One final word of advise is to purchase "Head First SQL" or some other good book on SQL if you don't already feel proficient. Although the book briefly explains each query it shows, I don't think the explanation is sufficient unless you see the stuff every day. A good thing about the book is that it shows screenshots of the application in just about every recipe and usually gives directions in clear numbered steps.

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If you have large quantities of data in a Microsoft Access database, and need to study that data in depth, this book is a data cruncher's dream. Access Data Analysis Cookbook offers practical recipes to solve a variety of common problems that users have with extracting Access data and performing calculations on it. Each recipe includes a discussion on how and why the solution works. Whether you use Access 2007 or an earlier version, this book will teach you new methods to query data, different ways to move data in and out of Access, how to calculate answers to financial and investment issues, and more. Learn how to apply statistics to summarize business information, how to jump beyond SQL by manipulating data with VBA, how to process dates and times, and even how to reach into the Excel data analysis toolkit. Recipes demonstrate ways to:

Develop basic and sophisticated queries
Apply aggregate functions, custom functions, regular expressions, and crosstabs
Apply queries to perform non-passive activities such as inserting, updating, and deleting data
Create and manipulate tables and queries programmatically
Manage text-based data, including methods to isolate parts of a string and ways to work with numbers that are stored as text
Use arrays, read and write to the Windows registry, encrypt data, and use transaction processing
Use the FileSystemObject, use XML with XSLT, communicate with SQL Server, and exchange data with other Office products
Find answers from time-based data, such as how to add time, count elapsed time, work with leap years, and how to manage time zones in your calculations
Deal with business and finance problems, including methods for calculating depreciation, loan paybacks, and Return on Investment (ROI)
Explore statistical techniques, such as frequency, variance, kurtosis, linear regression, combinations and permutations
Access Data Analysis Cookbook is a one-stop-shop for extracting nuggets of valuable information from your database, and anyone with Access experience will benefit from these tips and techniques, including seasoned developers. If you want to use your data, and not just store it, you'll find this guide indispensable.

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