Recently Oliver introduced the new “tags” field type in Agilebase to meet a specific client’s need for multiple answers to a single question. (If you want to know more look here) and we got into discussing the pros and cons of tagging in general.

Obviously tags are great where multiple answers are to be expected from a single question

But interestingly I have recently found another way in which they are handy during the post launch phase.

Sometimes it is hard to get people to generate a definitive list of options for the lookup list, Jane normally calls it “HR”, John calls it “Human Resources” but neither of them are that bothered really so both get used!.

By setting up the field as a tag field first you can see actually usage patterns emerge over time. Once a pattern is clear you can then convert the field into a lookup by adopting the most popular usage option (and cleansing out the less popular versions).

It reminded me  of a story from my Uni days.

I went to Warwick Uni just after it was opened. The story doing the rounds was that on the Uni opening day there were no pathways laid out between any of the campus buildings as a decision had been taken to wait until students had worn routes into the grass and then to use these as a guide as to where it was best to create paved walkways.