Data Entry Standards - Examples

A Data Entry Standard (DES) document can be so granular that users need to refer to for every value the enter into a field - yuck!

Why not K.IS.S. (Keep It Super Simple) instead?!  Create online forms to ensure all of the necessary data is collected, avoid the use of free text fields where possible, and put the Cividesk Normalize extension to use according to your needs.  

What you will want to include in your DES is the desired format where free text fields can't be avoided (e.g. name, address, custom fields, etc.), e.g.:


  • Put company names in their own field, not in one of the address fields
  • Spell out company names except Inc, LLC, LP, etc
  • Do not abbreviate personal names or company names (Wm vs William, Univ of Chgo)


  • Numeric street names should (almost always) not be spelled out (7th, not seventh)
  • Use abbreviations without punctuation for directionals in addresses (123 S State St)
  • Abbreviate street suffixes without punctuation (Ave, St, Blvd, Ct, Rd, Ln)
  • Do not use the pound sign (#) as a secondary address unit designator, instead use standard abbreviations (Apt, Bldg, Fl, STE, Unit, Rm, Dept)
  • Spell out city names (Fort Myer, not Ft. Myer)
  • Add the plus 4 to US zip codes