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I have a list of people. The user's goal is to locate a single person or group of people. The people in the list have a lot of data associated with them, but for real estate purposes, I can't display every piece of data in my table. So I've selected the most important data for the users to display.

The users want to filter (so they can see all the people with unifying characteristics). Is it acceptable to filter on a piece of data that I DON'T display in the table?

Do people trust the back end system is accurately applying their filters, even if they can't see that the filter was properly applied based on the updates in the list?

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It is... perfectly fine

The users want to filter (so they can see all the people with unifying characteristics). Is it acceptable to filter on a piece of data that I DON'T display in the table?

It is not uncommon for the results in a faceted search not to involve all data for exactly the same reasons you describe (like many of the collapsed facets in the image below).

Do people trust the back end system is accurately applying their filters, even if they can't see that the filter was properly applied based on the updates in the list?

This isn't quite a matter of trust. Trust in such scenario is not an issue until the system malfunction.

Ask yourself: when you search for questions on this site, do you trust the system to search all questions? After all, you have never seen the list of all questions. You will only start to suspect if you search for a question you know (say one that you have posted) and it wouldn't come up in the results.

An screengrab of Linkedin, showing faceted search with options not seen in the results

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Yes.

As Ishaki has explained, Filtering happens in most of the popular applications of a list today.

Also, your approach of showing the most relevant data needed to the user for the list is correct, since most of them will refer that over other details.

As far as other details are concerned, take Amazon for example.

All the items are on the right and the Filters are to the left.

Regardless of if the item's card, one can filter through: price, size, brand, range, etc.

So, nothing new about filtering data which might not be present in front of the user, since it becomes obvious the filters will showcase results accordingly.

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as Izhaki pointed out filters are highly popular, you can even design a more space savy filter such as implemented on angel.co where the search bar acts as a keyword filter: enter image description here

this takes up less real estate space on the page and does the job exactly as you would need it.

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