Hello NAACCR XML Forum Members,
The Alaska Cancer Registry completed the v21 upgraded of its Registry Plus suite of software (except eMaRC Plus of course) by the end of September. I have now been working with XML files for about the last month and a half and have developed some processing tricks that I would like to share with the data file processing community.
The program XML Exchange Plus is a very valuable piece of software when it comes to working with XML files. You can load a file and view selected fields in a spreadsheet format with the help of a query builder tool. So for example, if you want to find records with DxCity=UNKNOWN and look up valid addresses for those cases, you can sort the spreadsheet by DxCity and find all your UNKNOWN values very easily. Then you can just make changes right in the spreadsheet like it was an Excel spreadsheet or an Access table. If you want to do a batch update, for example, change all DxNumberAndStreet fields from UNK to UNKNOWN, you can do that with the help of a query builder tool. Any query you build you can save and open later for future use. Another really great use of XML Exchange Plus is the ability to split files up when you export them. For example, our registry prioritizes processing only DxYears for the 12- and 24-month Call-For-Data datasets toward the end of each calendar year, so it is very valuable for us to be able to split up export files by DxYear. Also, our registrars prefer working on relatively small files, so if we get a file with 500 records from the same diagnosis year, I can easily split this file into 10 files with 50 records each.
Another valuable but potentially unexpected tool that we use in XML file processing is Abstract Plus. Besides the obvious use of this software for uploading files, doing visual QC and fixing Edit errors, this software is very valuable to those of us who have used MS Access for decades for processing data. I have a stand-alone MS Access database that has links to the Abstract Plus tables. I can then run very complex MS Access queries, for example, assigning DxCounty based on the value of DxCity in a stored table (we don't have any cities that cross county boundaries) when the value of DxCounty is incorrect or unknown. I can also link the Abstract Plus tables to the CRS Plus tables and search for exact duplicate facility submissions. If I find any, I can use the Abstract Plus delete function to delete those records.
I hope you might find some of these tips to be helpful.
Sincerely,David O'BrienData Analyst, Alaska Cancer Registry