Organizations around the world use CommCare applications to capture data efficiently and ensure timely access to their data for analysis and decision making. However, even with a well-designed application, data submitted by mobile workers isn’t always clean and ready for analysis.
Without regular cleaning, incomplete, inaccurate, or irrelevant data can make an entire dataset less reliable and harder to use. That’s why, in addition to our data collection capabilities, we offer tools within the CommCare web platform to inspect and clean raw data — as errors are detected in data exports, or before an export is ever downloaded.
To help you get the most out of these data cleaning tools, we developed the Managing Data in CommCare Starter Guide.
What will you learn from using this guide?
This starter guide introduces key features in CommCare for effective data management, which can help lead to better analysis and greater insights into performance, progress, and impact. The guide is organized into two parts: Exporting Data and Inspecting and Cleaning Data.
In Part 1, Exporting Data, you’ll learn how to:
- Distinguish between the four main types of exports.
- Select and configure the right export for your needs.
- Manage the exports that have been created.
- Distinguish and interpret captured data and metadata in an export.
- Understand and minimize the effects of app changes on exports.
In Part 2, Inspecting and Cleaning Data, you’ll explore how to:
- Inspect form submissions and how they interact with cases.
- Edit individual form submissions.
- Remove accidental, erroneous, or test submissions from your data.
- Close duplicate, test, or old cases.
- Use each available tool appropriately, based on your needs and in light of the tool’s limitations.
Altogether, you’ll be equipped with the tools and know-how to perform the tasks necessary to keep your data consistently cleaner and ready for use. Packed with walkthroughs, tips, and links to additional resources, we designed this guide to be useful to both new and experienced CommCare users alike.
You can read the guide from beginning to end, or you can navigate to the various sections, based on your learning needs, by using the table of contents. It can be used for self-directed learning, as a go-to resource for questions about key data features, or as a tool to onboard new staff who need to interact with your CommCare data.