The utility of Modify Field prior to Append Databases

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Brian Element's picture
Brian Element
Joined: 07/11/2012 - 19:57
The utility of Modify Field prior to Append Databases
Hello Group Members,
When faced with the need to merge multiple files in IDEA into a single file for single point testing of analytical objectives, Append Databases is our Go To Function.
A very important precondition to applying Append Databases is that the underlying files in IDEA to append (merge) need to be in the same format - same field names and field types.
We have all at least once in our analytic journey in IDEA come across a situation where the Append fails owing to different field name and / or field type. While IDEA prompts us on the inconsistent field with its database it is important to understand the method to correct the inconsistency.
Modify Field in IDEA allows you to change the Field Name and / Field Type to bring the inconsistent Field in line with the Field in the other files to Append. You can also achieve the same by using Field Manipulation.
In some cases we have seen interestingly - exactly same MS Excel files for different time period and / or locations imported to IDEA having different field type for the same field name. This requires data sanitisation in IDEA for the Append to go through. So we have seen that if you obtain the same source data as a CSV or PRN or TXT file (if the choice lies with you) then thanks to the import definition / template you will not face any problems owing to inconsistent field names or types.
Best Regards
Group Admin Team