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I am writing an app that works for organisations that have multiple departments. All data entered will belong to a particular department.

So, it is mandatory to select a one and only one department for any data entry.

However, when viewing data, managers will typically want to view the data from multiple different parameters. Normal people will probably only have access to one department.

All I can think of is having two controls in the header - one to choose which departments to enter as and another to choose one or more departments to view as. This feels quite clunky..

I would have to validate that the entry department is always a part of the view department choices. When changing your entry department, should the view departments also change?

I would really like a better way around this problem, but am a bit stuck. Any ideas?

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    Will all users be able to Create / Read / Update / Delete everything in their assigned department? Will users need read only access to some departments and read/write access to other departments? – DaveAlger Feb 18 '15 at 21:40
  • It is not very clear why the user entering the department info will know or even care about what departments this can be viewed under for other people. Can you elaborate on this? – nightning Feb 19 '15 at 0:13
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How about showing the values for other departments under the editable value for your own department?

(A system admin would need to specify which departments each user could see beyond their own.)

show multiple departments

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I believe here you are referring to two views, one for data entry and the other for viewing the data.

If that's true I would recommend in the data view to show the report by default for any one department. Selection of this department rests on your preferences. For adding other departments, just provide a circular button on the bottom right, just like what GMail provides in the mobile app. Give it a prominent look, so that the user understands this is for adding more departments.

That being said, if the issue you are facing is related to how you should provide options to access the views, I would recommend tabs or accordion layout.

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