Create a Data Table

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Data table overview and requirements

Data tables in DevResults allow you to directly upload spreadsheets of individual-level data. Data tables can have as many columns as you want, including text fields that allow you to store additional qualitative information for each row. 

Data Tables enforce good data practices. All data in DevResults must be associated with a time and a place, so you must include a column for the date of the result and the area it represents, such as a single facility, a district, or the whole country. If results were generated by an activity, you must include a column to label that activity.

Partners can access and edit Data Tables if you so choose, but only the rows of data that are associated with their activities. Any information added by a partner will be automatically labeled with their activity. Partners cannot see rows of data entered by others' activities. Click here to learn more about How Activities are Linked to Data Tables.

Data tables can serve as stand-alone repositories of information or databases, or they can be set to pull indicator results from these tables. In fact, data tables can inform multiple indicatorsFor a quick breakdown on when to use data tables or direct entry indicators, take a look at the Indicator Guidebook.

If you want to pull indicator data from a data table, you must have a minimum set of fields for the data to be well-defined:

  • Date: Your data table must have a column for date.
  • Place: Your data table must have a column for a geographic place, such as district, region, or specific locations. National-level data should have a column that specifies the place for each row as the whole country.
  • Activity: All data should be associated with the activity that did that work. The few exceptions include national-level indices, such as literacy rate, which don't represent work attributable to one of your activities.
  • A column for what you're counting: Are you counting trainees? You'll need a column to list each trainee's ID or pseudonym. Patients? You'll need a column for each patient's ID or pseudonym.
  • A column for each disaggregation of any indicators that pull from this table: If you're disaggregating by sex, the column heading would be "Sex", and the rows in that column would contain "Male" or "Female". You would not have separate columns for male and female.

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Creating a Data Table by Uploading a Spreadsheet

If you currently store your data in an Excel spreadsheet, or if you're importing data from a third-party system, you can upload this information to DevResults directly. 

First go to the Data Tables page and select (+) New data table.

Next select Upload an example

Choose a file from your computer or drag and drop a file from your computer to the page. If you are using a multi-sheet Excel file, you will be asked to choose which sheet you want to upload. You will then be prompted to verify what type of data is in each of your columns. If the system-suggested type is incorrect, you can change this by clicking on the dropdown or by starting to enter the correct column type into the field you want to change. 

You can then select whether you want to import the data in your spreadsheet, or if you want to create a data table without importing existing data. Then click (+) Create Data Table to save. 

Your data table has now been created.  

Note: Data tables imported from Excel must have column headings in row 1 that start in column A. Avoid skipping columns, skipping rows, and merging cells. In a multi-spreadsheet workbook, the first spreadsheet cannot be blank. 

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Creating a Data Table by Designing it Online

To create a data table online, navigate to the Data Tables page and click on (+) New data table.  Enter a name for your data table and select Design the table manually as your data source. 

You will be taken to your new data table's Design tab where you can begin adding new columns. The system will also automatically raise 2 alerts. DevResults requires all data entered to include a date and a location. Your data tables should always include columns that capture this information. 

If your data table does not contain required columns, you will not be able to link indicators to it. 

You can add a new column by entering the column name and type into the pop-up menu, then clicking (+) Add Column to save. 

You can select the column type by clicking on the dropdown menu or by entering the column type into the field. 

To change a column's type: delete the column, save the change, and then re-add the column with the correct type.


You can also add an optional description field to each column. The description text will appear when the user mouses-over the column heading on the Data tab, which makes it an ideal location to enter instructions to the person entering data or contextual notes about the data the column contains.

Once you have added all relevant columns, click the Save changes button to save your new data table. 

If your indicator is populating from a data table, you do not have to add all relevant geographies to your Activity Geography tab. The data table indicator will consider all complete records when it calculates the correct result.

Data can be entered and edited either online or via Excel, both by internal users or partners:

Next, define indicators to populate results directly from data tables.

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