The information you capture in your forms is only as good as the accuracy with which data has been in entered in them. In this article we look at facilitating precise data entry by simple means.
One of the most crucial, time consuming and boring tasks in MS Access is entering data in databases. It requires to be done with lots of care and consideration, to avoid any kind of mistakes in data entry, which can later lead to incorrect analysis of data. You can reduce the dangers of making errors while entering data by creating forms in a way that data entry becomes accurate and efficient. This is not too difficult to achieve, if you follow the tips given below, for designing forms that can help you add data effectively and precisely.
1. Validate Data
Analyzing and summarizing data will be of no use if the data entered in the tables is incorrect and improper. Those using your forms to enter data will also end up entering incorrect data. Therefore, before you create forms, make sure all the data entered is correct and validated in all ways, and there are no errors in any field.
2. Suggest Details on Allowed Text
This can work to a good extent, you can provide the users with details on what kind of information or data is allowed in a particular field. This can help in reducing errors while entering data.
3. Make Use of Data Validation Expressions
Make use of the Data Validation feature provided by Access, to help you reduce errors while entering data. This feature will also allow you explicitly state rules about what kind of data, and in what range, can the data be entered. You can make these rules more clear and visible by adding a pop-up message whenever anyone begins to enter data in a cell which in a wrong format.
4. Make Use of Input Masks
To prevent inconsistent entries, you can add label or status bar message conveying the correct format of entering data, so that inconsistent data is not added in any field. These prompts might not always work with data validation. A more reliable way is to make use of Input Masks for the fields, it is a template showing the correct way to enter data, used for avoiding incorrect and inconsistent entries. Adding an input masks becomes a lot easier if you make use of the Input Mask Wizard. There might be a possibility that the existing input masks do not suit your needs, in this situation you can opt for creating a custom input mask. There are lots of options you can select from for using Input Masks.
Forms are often used for entering data in a database, therefore entering correct data in forms is critical for entering correct data in the databases. One of the most important things to always keep in mind is to not add data manually in a disorganized manner. That is one of the most common causes for errors in a database and can even lead to a damaged mdb file in the long run.
Vivian Stevens is a data recovery expert in DataNumen, Inc., which is the world leader in data recovery technologies, including repair mdf database error and excel recovery software products. For more information visit www.datanumen.com