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> Use the number 10, now the difference is 51 to 2 or a ratio of ~26 to
> 1. Use the number 100 and the ratio is 52 to 3 or ~17 to 1. Six
> digits? 56 to 6 or ~10 to 1. Now add multiple columns of data (as any
> realistic example would do) and the ratio falls even farther.
Now encode your six-digit numbers with a more economical tag such as
and the ratio is 13:7. Might not be everyone's idea of best practice, but if
you want a compromise between size and explicitness then it might be the
right one for you.