We need to be aware that all the worlds’ peoples are not identified yet. I can give you examples from field researchers that will tell us we do not have a complete picture. Here is one: I was recently traveling in an unreached people group with a field missionary. The area has 50+ distinct languages (or Bible translation needs) and an unknown number of ethnic peoples (other missionary needs). Some call these distinctions ethno-linguistic and ethno-cultural.
For quite a while, I have been thinking about the people in country perspective. In 2002 we developed a flat database of the worlds peoples to place on the Internet. By flat I mean that the database was one table and had no relationships. During that development we took out the people in country perspective leaving only one record per people group.
1. Your project needs to reach other languages. They are the majority mission senders and the trend is rising.
2. Your project (if internet based) should not be too heavy for end users. The majority of users do not have the connection speed that North Americans do.
3. Your web interface should not be too complicated so that all ages and users levels can navigate it well.
4. Your project should not need a user login to be able to get at the information.
5. Your project should not expect that other ministries scratch their current systems to all collaborate on your project.
6. You project should not require other researchers or workers to do work on your project.
7. There needs to be a standard by which other research efforts can get your data and compare it to their own. People name will not work.
8. Your project should be filling a need that is not already being met by another ministry or effort. No duplication.
9. Your data should be public domain and at no cost. People can get much information for free now, and will look for another source if you are charging or have copyrights.
10. Your information needs to be editable by a community of volunteers. If your database is closed, you will soon be obsolete.
11. Your project should not depend heavily on another project. Projects come and go.
12. Spiritual unity is not necessarily that everyone works on the same platform.
13. Your project should not require that other research efforts use one scale or standards.
14. Your project should be to benefit the unreached peoples. Reaching them is finishing the task.