Integrating Mobile Data Collection Tools

DevResults can work with your mobile data collection tool (MDCT) to import information from the field directly into DevResults.This article different types of mobile data collection tools and best practices.

Some MDCTs include:

  • SurveyCTO
  • KoboToolbox
  • CommCare
  • Magpi
  • Ona
  • iFormBuilder
  • ODK

The Idea:

Your MDCT creates a spreadsheet behind-the-scenes. Every time someone enters a data point, a row gets added to that spreadsheet. We build a direct import of that spreadsheet into our Data Table tool, which then populates indicator results. The important thing about these spreadsheets is that the information captured by your MDCT needs to be the same kind of information that we store in DevResults.

For example, say you have an indicator for "# people trained" disaggregated by Sex: Male/Female.

The data table for that would include (at a minimum) columns for:

  • Activity (if applicable)
  • Date
  • Place (e.g. The column heading would be a reporting level, like Location, District, Region, or Country. The rows would contain the Locations or  Administrative Divisions from your DevResults site.)
  • Some way of identifying the person (name/email/ID)
  • Sex

Thus, when you set up your MDCT forms, a single form for entering information about a single trainee must include dropdowns for the Activity, Place, and Sex. These dropdowns must contain the same lists of choices that are in DevResults, and the date should be any standard date format.

Once you've decided on your MDCT forms that match the content stored in DevResults, our engineers will need a sample export of the information collected by your MDCT, plus some information about your MDCT account.

Note: If using SurveyCTO, the survey integration can be completed by following our  Survey CTO Integration help article.

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Best Practices:

  1. First define the indicators that will be informed by the data you want to collect
  2. Then define the table in DevResults that will store the data you want to collect
  3. Link your indicators to the DevResults table and test out whether you've configured the inputs to give the results you expect
  4. Create the survey in your mobile collection device to match the DevResults disaggregations exactly 
  5. Confirm the exportation format of your survey (e.g. the column types, values, and conditional questions)
  6. Ensure the survey to be connected with a DevResults table is finalized and will not require additional changes to the form
  7. Verify there is a one-to-one mapping between the survey form and DevResults 

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