Managing Entry of Data

As an administrator, you share responsibility for what data must be entered by users. This is an interesting area of tension: On the one hand, you have to ensure that all data is entered that is needed for meaningful planning and helpful analysis. On the other hand, you should keep in mind that users should not be unnecessarily delayed or even frustrated by a multitude of data entries.
This article will provide you with an overview of the features that will help you meet this challenge and bridge the gap between necessary data entry and optimal user experience.

Where to Create Columns and Fields

You can create columns and fields in Master Settings or Custom Settings. Note the following points:

  • Columns and Fields can only be used in the folder or sub-folder in which they are created. For example, if you create a field in the Custom Settings of a sub-folder, the field will appear only for the children of that sub-folder.
    Best Practice: Create fields in the Custom Settings of a sub-folder if the data is only necessary for that area. This will reduce the amount of data users have to enter.
  • Invoice and Commit type columns can only be created in the Master Settings.

Set Default Values

If you know that users enter similar values or possibly even the same one frequently, set an appropriate default value. You can use this option for the Date, Drop-down list, Number or Metric and Text or Reference # types in the Activity Grid and the Details Panel.

  1. On the Home tab, click the Master Settings or Custom Settings hyperlink in the Edit Settings column, depending on where the field or column was created.
  2. On the Settings page, select the Columns tab.
  3. On the Columns tab, find and click the field for which you want to set a default value.
  4. In the Field Details panel on the right side, enter the corresponding value in the Default to field.

Summarize Data Entry for Line Items in the Quick Entry Form

Fields and columns are displayed in different locations. To prevent users from having to open different locations and enter data when creating a line item, add the important data to the Quick Entry. This is possible for all data entry types except Target (see Entering and Displaying Data for explanation on data entry types). The Quick Entry form is displayed when the user creates a line item.

Adding a field or column to Quick Entry Form is explained in Customizing the Workflow Form (Selecting Attributes for Quick Entry).

Mark Important Data as Required

If the entry of data is indispensable, mark the entry as Required. If such a field is added to the Quick Entry Form, a line item can only be created if the user has edited the field. This is possible for all data entry types except Target (see Entering and Displaying Data for explanation on data entry types).

Best Practice: Try to balance the need for required fields with ease of use for your users. The more required fields you have, the more work is required to add new activities. We recommend only making fields required if absolutely necessary for reporting or integration.

For detailed information please refer to Making Data Entry Required.

Lock Fields and Columns When Inputs Are Complete

If you want to make a column read only, use the Lock function. This means that the field or column can no longer be changed for any activity. An example is the locking of the plan columns, but you can lock all other data entry types as well if needed. The Locking Plan Columns article describes locking using the example of plan columns.

Note: Cross-check whether the Required or Quick Entry feature are enabled for the field/column you want to lock. If these functions are enabled, we recommend disabling them both when locking is activated.
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