When I see bad data in a database, there are several things you need to look at to improve the outcomes of your reports.  In general this is all going to fall under GIGO:  Garbage IN, Garbage OUT.  Cliche, but TRUE!  Here are my top 5 tips to help control your data quality:

  1. Watch out for NULLS, which tend to break reports and formulas.  Use NZ to plan for bad data or nulls.  Example:  nz([Income],”N/A”) will produce a result of N/A when there is no Income value.
  2. Put threshold rules on key fields.  Example: If you have a date of birth field, add a rule for <date().  This ensure people do not accidentally enter 2107 as a year (I see this all the time).
  3. Use conditional formatting.  Create conditional format rules that change the field color and font to highlight deviations which are out of our normal ranges.  I like to build formula based rules on number fields where I can use something like +/- 10% as my test.  You have to first understand what normal should look like before making these types of rules though.
  4. Set critical fields to not allow Nulls
  5. Create useful ControlTip  on the Other Properties tab to better inform a user.  This will display on the screen when the mouse hovers over the field.

Control Tip

Jeff Shirley

Jeff Shirley

Founder & CEO
Jeff brings over 27 years of experience to the table, along with numerous awards, certifications, and real-world implementations.  His database solutions are currently running in industries including government, mining, agriculture, finance, education, science, research, non-profits, and healthcare businesses around North America and serve thousands of users day to day.  Jeff is a five-time MVP Award recipient for Microsoft Access, acknowledging contributions to community projects, evangelism, and educational outreach on Microsoft technologies.  Today there are less than 50 Access MVP’s worldwide. While Jeff focuses day to day on business management, IoT development, IT integrations and design, database architecture or other typical complex tasks, he also is a co-owner of Blue Heron Gardens, a commercial apiary running over 200 beehives.  Fresh honey is a small perk for many of our clients!

Mitch Redekopp

Mitch works with our clients day to day ensuring web development and IT projects are done to exceed customer expectations.  His background includes formal training in IT, Microsoft and CompTIA certifications, real-world business experience, and a true dedication to ensuring clients receive timely and professional support on their projects with Rivercity Technology Services.  Given the most difficult requests for IT solutions, Mitchell can assist our clients in finding a path to the best options which deliver results for our clients.  Mitchell is an avid soccer player and Manchester City fan, be sure to talk soccer with him when you can.