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Be consistent in data entry


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#1 Admin

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Posted 16 August 2004 - 12:18 AM

Be consistent in data entry
Applies to: TMG

Tip: In order to obtain the best results from TMG (or any program), you should be consistent in how you enter your data. By being consistent, you can more easily generate reports based on the information you have entered since similar data will be entered in the same way and in the same fields. Before you enter your data, consider how you want certain data to appear in your data set. For example, you may want to spell out all state entries, or you may want to place the modifier "County" or its abbreviation "Co." with the County name in the County field. There are many other items to be considered, some about which you may feel strongly and some about which you really don't care. But if you decide before you do a lot of work, then things will be easier later. Of course, if you have just imported (or are about to) data from another program, then you will also want to have the data-entry standards defined before you do your clean-up in TMG.

#2 Gotty

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Posted 13 September 2004 - 08:55 PM

I couldn't agree more. But it begs the question of whether or not one should go for consistency at the risk of "interpreting" the original source data, or go for source accuracy at the risk of creating reporting problems.

I guess the answer depends on how you use the displayed data>

#3 John Cardinal

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Posted 14 September 2004 - 03:03 AM

I don't think you have to choose between consistency and accuracy. In general, most issues that relate to consistency don't affect accuracy. For example, if you always use a particular tag type to record a particular type of data, it's unlikely that will affect the accuracy of what you recorded. If you do find that consistency (or some other factor) negatively affects accuracy in a particular circumstance, explain the issue in the relevant source citation (my choice) or perhaps in a memo. Be consistent in where you enter your explanations.

#4 GenerationGoneBy

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Posted 14 September 2004 - 03:50 PM

I couldn't agree more. But it begs the question of whether or not one should go for consistency at the risk of "interpreting" the original source data, or go for source accuracy at the risk of creating reporting problems.

I guess the answer depends on how you use the displayed data>

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>


I don't think there is a choice. You record what the data says. However, you can easily also be consistent in HOW you do it. For instance, if the place is misspelled in your source, and you choose to record that place in the MEMO field and the correct spelling in the place field, that is fine, just don't do something different the next time you come across the same problem.
If you record the misspelling in the place, the report will read the same as your "source" but you lose the ability to do searching. But if you record it in the memo, you can change the sentence, still have the same output, yet preserve searching abilities within TMG. But if you consistently do this, then you can easily add that spelling to your report filter options. If you aren't consistent, you might not get that person or place in your report.
The main thing I find is things like County, Co., or Co., . Those would be three different places instead of one. By making sure I always use County, I ensure that I don't have two pointers to the same place in my VERY large MPL.
I also think it's important to be consistent with which tag you use. For someone like me who really customizes tags, I have to be sure the tag I use this time is the right one. For instance, I have a Name-Premarried tag that I use to record the name of a person as it is listed on their marriage license. This isn't to be confused with the Name-Married tag that I use for women AFTER they are married.
Place and name styles are another area that you need to be sure to use consistently if you use them a lot, like I do. I want my premarried names to read a certain way, so I make sure I use the MARRIED NAME style for them. I want my census name tags to print another way, so I make sure I use the proper CENSUS NAME style.
The more you customize TMG, the more it pays to be consistent in data entry.
Thanks John for TMG utility. It keeps me sane. B) I can use it to be sure my name styles and place styles are consistent before I run a report.

#5 dball

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Posted 26 November 2004 - 08:06 AM

More agreement. I created a separate MSWord document called "Design Basis Memorandum" that records all of my choices that are different than TMG default. Because I have several Projects and many Datasets within those projects, it is important to record both the choices and the reasons for the choices, particularly for things not used regularly (e.g., how an adoption is treated).




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