How or when should you use a related table over having the data in the geodatabase?

11-12-2019 03:18 PM
New Contributor

I asked this question in another forum and received some feedback but wanted to ask it here as well to possibly get additional information. 

How or when should you use a related table over having the data in the geodatabase?


For example, in my office we are collecting data, using collector, each year on species (Turkey) counts per location. Currently, we have a point shapefile created with an attribute table similar to the one below. 




Our question is, should we have the data in a related table or add 2 new columns each year? We see advantages and disadvantages of both. If we switch to a related table symbolizing by certain years is not easily done, we do this often, but we do not have to continually add a column each year. However, we do need to add a new year to the domain list each year if using the related table. If we keep the data in the geodatabase it will allow us to symbolize by each year without exporting and making copies of the layer with queries to view each year. 


I guess the question is, is there a standard or best practice saying that data should be in a related table when x occurs. Or is it more of a preference thing at this point since GIS can handle larger datasets now?


Also, if this should be posted in another forum I would be happy to post it there as well. 


Thank you.

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