Force user to input valid data. If you don’t pay enough attention to this rule when you promote some functionality for the users you will face with need to adjust production data regularly. Here is the couple symptom which may signal you about the functionality review necessity:
- Free input fields
- Fields which mean the same but populate data from different sources or not populate it at all
Efforts to organize data during the initial state will be rewarded in future. The more obvious benefits are:
- User will get better experience with search routines
- Reporting results will be more clear
- You will safe time writing ETL procedures when deside to build your Data Warehouse
Of course you will be not able provide full dictionary for every field, because you may be not absolute expert in some areas, but you may provide user with the possibility to fill this dictionary by their own since user is real expert, or at list you may add “Other” option to the list of values.