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 Post subject: Getting your bank account data in electronic format
PostPosted: Mon Jan 03, 2011 10:33 pm 
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Back Home with Mammy

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Posts: 73
Hey - posted this in AAM aswell but thought here might be good place to post aswell, also maybe this should be in piston but thought would get more techy eyes in here that might have good advice.

Hi,

Could not find any similar posts with a search so starting new thread.

Has anyone any experience getting electronic data dumps from your irish bank account? basically i really just want a csv file with my account information that i can then use to manage my finances each month or so in an excel file or some such.

im with aib and the closest i can get is a copy and paste from their online statement but problem here is the transactions in that view only go back a month or so and so i cannot access all the historic data this way. i can view pdf's of my statements online but if i try copy and paste the data structure is messy/hard to parse. i did hear the BOI and UB can provide data extracts - has anyone any experience with this?

my questions are - has anyone either found ways to copy and handle the data from an aib estatement pdf and play with it in excel for example or alternativley has anyone any experience getting their data from aib in a structured way like a csv file?

thanks all


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 Post subject: Re: Getting your bank account data in electronic format
PostPosted: Mon Jan 03, 2011 10:56 pm 
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Joined: Sep 29, 2010
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Location: London, innit
pony wrote:

im with aib and the closest i can get is a copy and paste from their online statement but problem here is the transactions in that view only go back a month or so and so i cannot access all the historic data this way. i can view pdf's of my statements online but if i try copy and paste the data structure is messy/hard to parse. i did hear the BOI and UB can provide data extracts - has anyone any experience with this?


The Ulster Bank works well; CSV XLS etc
You can only download 1 year at a time but I don't recall any major issues, though I only switched to them a few years ago so not sure how historic the data can be.

I'd be surprised if BoI did this; their website was like something from the Flintstones partly why I left (+E100!)

HTH


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 Post subject: Re: Getting your bank account data in electronic format
PostPosted: Mon Jan 03, 2011 11:01 pm 
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Back Home with Mammy

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Posts: 73
yeah - hear the BOI online experience is pretty bad - AIB's online system is generally pretty good but could be so much better if they actually let you properly manage and analyse your expenditure by providing you with some tools and direct access to your data.

The data is all there in the pdf's but they really do not look to lend themselves well to reading in a structured way (or at least i'm not techy enough to figure it out)


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 Post subject: Re: Getting your bank account data in electronic format
PostPosted: Mon Jan 03, 2011 11:23 pm 
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Location: London, innit
pony wrote:
yeah - hear the BOI online experience is pretty bad - AIB's online system is generally pretty good but could be so much better if they actually let you properly manage and analyse your expenditure by providing you with some tools and direct access to your data.

The data is all there in the pdf's but they really do not look to lend themselves well to reading in a structured way (or at least i'm not techy enough to figure it out)


I'd imagine there are ways to extract data from PDF;

try basic Copy Paste and save to plain text file; and then in excel try import (delineated/ space etc)?

It might be compete pants;
Google Docs allows certain import from PDF too,
otherwise there are some programs out there to extract the plain text


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 Post subject: Re: Getting your bank account data in electronic format
PostPosted: Mon Jan 03, 2011 11:35 pm 
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Back Home with Mammy

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Posts: 73
tried all the copy paste, import/export tricks i could (also just tried google docs there) but i end up getting rows like below that can contain lots of rubbish and actual figures would be pretty hard to pull out programatically

INET BILL 107.94
10 Dec 2010 ATM CITYWEST 1 40.00
10DEC10 TIME 02:13
UBL DUB COLLEGE GR 50.00
10DEC10 TIME 01:50 300.01
13 Dec 2010 *INET ONLINE SAVIN 10.00
POS-ALDI STORES 17.28
POS-DUNNES TALLAGH 57.64
POS-LIDL IRELAN 6.93


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 Post subject: Re: Getting your bank account data in electronic format
PostPosted: Tue Jan 04, 2011 1:29 am 
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With BOI online I do "Customise a Statement" which lets you select transactions from up to a year ago. I do it every few months. Then select each page of the results and copy/paste to Excel ( - total pain in the a$$). I do various formatting and massaging in Excel to get decent looking results. Have maintained a spreadsheet since 2002 with no problems.

Re: copying and pasting from PDF -- there is a Text Viewer mode in Foxit Reader, but you can only copy from it with the Pro version. Format would probably be crappy too.

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 Post subject: Re: Getting your bank account data in electronic format
PostPosted: Tue Jan 04, 2011 10:24 am 
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ps200306 wrote:
Re: copying and pasting from PDF -- there is a Text Viewer mode in Foxit Reader, but you can only copy from it with the Pro version. Format would probably be crappy too.


As I posted on another thread a while ago:
Quote:
FYI: if you have Office 2007 or 2010 there's a little-used program in it called OneNote - very handy in fact - it has an OCR reader buried in it - if you copy the pdf as a snapshot (ie image) - paste it into OneNote - right-click on what you just pasted - select 'copy text from picture' - you get fairly good quality text. Make the pdf image as large as possible before taking the snapshot, btw.
This works on copy-protected pdfs - obviously where they are not copy-protected text can be cut and pasted without this messing.
(apologies if everybody knew this already!)


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 Post subject: Re: Getting your bank account data in electronic format
PostPosted: Tue Jan 04, 2011 10:32 am 
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Joined: Oct 10, 2010
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Location: the airport
you can convert pdf to excel using this tool http://www.pdftoexcelonline.com/

I've used it before and it's quite good. plus its free!


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 Post subject: Re: Getting your bank account data in electronic format
PostPosted: Sun Jan 09, 2011 6:51 pm 
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Back Home with Mammy

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my simplistic way to try work around this was going to be paste the text from the pdf into col A in an excel sheet then use various tests and conditions to try parse it myself and then just go though each line and assigning it to particular categories to track spending.

things like when a line has a ":" in it it is just a datestamp AIB put in so not relevant, also if line has no numbers then obviously line is not relevant etc (could also look for particular lines such as "Date Details Debit € Credit € Balance €" and "Surcharges-See Notice at Branch" as these are always top and bottom of a block of transactions)- this will cut out some of the rubbish and then you are left with lot of rows from which you would have to pull out the "0000.00" type bits to put the numbers into cells then you just go down through each row and assign it accordingly.

might try make a stab at it at if i can - feel free to help out or have a go yourself if you are in any way interested - never really tried to parse text in excel so not too confident how successful i'll be.

given amount of people banking with AIB though i'd say anything half way decent would be really useful.

will post link if i ever get anything together - effort involved prob beats sitting and manually inputting data.


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 Post subject: Re: Getting your bank account data in electronic format
PostPosted: Mon Jan 10, 2011 3:45 pm 
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Back Home with Mammy

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tried a bit more on this in work where i have adobe acrobat - if you highlight the table on the pdf between the two lines i mention above and then right click and say 'save as table' or 'open table in spreadsheet' you get a csv file spaced as you would expect and you can then do whatever you want with the data from there. only pain now is that you have to copy and save table/open table from each individual page. painful but better than nothing.

note: the 'table' options are available when you open the pdf where acrobat is installed


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 Post subject: Re: Getting your bank account data in electronic format
PostPosted: Mon Jan 10, 2011 4:16 pm 
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Back Home with Mammy

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Posts: 73
got better way to handle the pdfs (as long as you have adobe acrobat - i think, not sure if it works in adobe reader):

when viewing you aib estatement pdf (in adobe acrobat) go to

file>save as>tables in excel spreadsheet

then every second spreadsheet is a relevant table.

think its driven from the xml tags in the pdf - not sure though as dont really know much about xml.

so basically download all your statements and combine the files in acrobat into one file and then just save that as tables in excel and then a little messing with getting the sheets in excel onto one single one and you should have your data.

have not had chance to try this yet but looks like it should work


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