Video Tutorial: Data Sources

Key points from the video


There are three indicator data sources: direct entry, data table, and formula. When creating an indicator, the first thing to define is the indicator's data source.

Direct entry [0:25]

Direct entry indicators allow users to report numerical results. With direct entry, you would report the actual counts of people trained for each disaggregation. The data entry involves typing in the numerical results either online or using an Excel template.

Data table [0:47]

When using a data table as the indicator source, you do not report numerical results. Instead of reporting the number of people trained, you would make a list of everyone trained. Using a data table will give the same indicator results; it's just a different way to enter and store the data.

Numerical data in data tables [1:39]

There are occasions when you might want to include numerical data in a data table. If you use direct entry for an indicator like "average test score", you would simply report the average test score for each disaggregation. If you use a data table for the same indicator, you would report all test scores and let DevResults average the data for you. Data tables offer a lot of flexibility and complexity. 

Formula [2:21]

Formula indicators calculate indicator results based on other indicators. The most common kind of formula indicator is a percentage. Instead of typing in the result for "percent of officials certified", you could calculate the result by dividing two other indicators: "number of officials certified" divided by the "total number of officials". Users would enter data for the numerator and denominator indicators, and the percent would be calculated automatically. This method ensures that comparisons of percentages between different places or disaggregations are properly weighted. 

Indicators from multiple sources [4:00]

Each indicator must come from a single data source. If you need to allow multiple sources for the same indicator, then you can create separate indicators for each source and add them together with a formula to get the total result. The formula would use addition instead of division. 

Choosing a data source [4:42]

Both direct entry and data table indicators let you enter information either online or offline using an Excel template. There's no one right answer to which option you should choose. It is a question of which version makes sense for how your organization collects and uses data. 

If you have any questions about any of this, please check out our knowledge base articles about data sources.

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