ACL Connections 2018 – new SAP® connector, machine learning, predictive analytics
ACL™ Connections 2018 was held in Philadelphia from 14 to 18 October. This is the annual global customer event of our partner ACL Services Ltd., headquartered in Vancouver.
Here is a brief summary of the most important topics covered.
Generally, we received very good feedback from participants about the event. It is a mix of product-related information on the data analytics, audit and risk management products ACL™ Analytics, ACL™ Analytics Exchange and ACL™ GRC. The software manufacturer also shares its current roadmap with its customers and gives an insight into its direction and strategy. This is supplemented with training sessions (such as workshops on project management or efficient design of visualisations and data storyboarding) which are also useful beyond the ACL™ portfolio itself.
While we clearly cannot give a full résumé of the contents of the three days, here are a few key points viewed from our perspective.
1. Redesign of data extraction from SAP®
ACL™ analytics tools offer a number of predefined connectors for a wide range of data sources, such as Salesforce, Twitter, Exchange, Email, SQL, Hive, Amazon Redshift, and Spark, to name just a few. This range is being expanded to include a new connector for SAP® data. We are pleased that the underlying technology is based on our product dab:Exporter and that we have had the opportunity to support ACL™ in implementing this connector.
Extended predictive analytics functions via an existing R/Python connection or a new outlier identification feature were also announced. These are all important steps, as combining traditional data analytics with AI/ML methods is a vital part of current technical development; in this connection, please also see our blog post on the Gartner Data Analytics Summit. Data scientists will thus continue to receive future-proof support with ACL™ products and can also rely on ACL™ to build analyses based on explorative self-service.
3. From insight to action – completing the ACL™ GRC product portfolio
The product ACL™ GRC has also been enhanced to include key functionalities. As detailing all innovations would exceed the framework of this post, we will limit ourselves to a just few highlights. As well as supporting audit departments and data analytics specialists, the cutting-edge cloud platform ACL™ GRC also offers excellent opportunities pertaining to risk management (enterprise risk management) and the internal control system.
Another important topic is the visualisation of facts in storyboards and case management of analytics results, i.e. the processing of individual transactions which are triggered by the controls. (The latter can, incidentally, provide an excellent basis for implementing supervised learning/semi-supervised machine learning approaches). As a whole, it is of course also an excellent basis for BPM (Business Performance Management).