Why lookup data?
When it comes to summarizing or searching for data, it is very important that data was input in a consistent manner. For example ‘Bit’ and ‘bit’ are different values in the context of a database query. To help enforcing data consistency, many input fields in the database will only accept values from a list with allowable values. Typically these values are presented in a drop-down list and the user can only select values from the list.
To provide optimum flexibility, several of these lists are populated with values contained in another data table (a so-called lookup table). Values may be added to these lookup tables, allowing you to customize the Well Reporting System to your operational and company’s requirements.
Access to the lookup tables can be restricted to specific user groups to ensure lookup data is maintained by authorized users only.
Lookup data maintenance
Certain lookup tables may contain a considerable number of values that where added to customize the Well Reporting System. A good example is the table containing all the Cost Codes, used to categorize Daily Costs. To enable data consistency between databases (e.g. field and office), some lookup tables may be exported from one database and imported in another. This eliminates the need to re-enter all custom values in every new database (for example on a new field computer).
A data maintenance functionality is also available. This function provides a quick overview of all data values – for a particular database field – that are not found in the relevant lookup table. The values are so-called “orphan values”. Orphan values may occur if the data was entered in one database and imported into another database where the lookup value does not exist.
There are two options to handle orphan values: the first option (1) is to add the orphan value to the lookup table, making it a valid lookup value. The second option (2) is to replace all occurrences of the orphan value – throughout the database – with a value already in the lookup table. This provides a very powerful tool to maintain consistent data.