Blank submissions (only system generated variables [e.g., uuid] have values)

DRC - Sentinel site for sharing.xlsx (54.8 KB)
Hi all,

I’ve run into an odd issue my team just can’t seem to solve. We’ve launched a survey and keep getting some submissions coming back totally blank except for the system generated values (version, id, uuid, and submission_time). About 30% of submissions have this issue, and the issue has been going on for several weeks.

All questions in the form are required except the last three (see attached). I’ve tried to submit a blank form, but as expected I get an error am not allowed to submit with any of the required questions missing. We also have assurances from folks in the field that the surveys were sent with data (we can see which facilities don’t have submissions with data to identify the ones that came through blank).

There are no relevance conditions in the entire survey, so it’s not a skip logic issue.

I recreated the form in a different Excel file and uploaded it as a totally separate instance, but we’re still getting the issue even on the new survey.

Any advice would be welcome, as we’re totally stumped on how this could be happening.


You use wrong XLSForm syntax/column naming in your choices sheet. See

Did you check your form with the online validator?
Sorry, this is always recommended during development, before deployment and also before posting to the forum, please.

If you cannot solve the issue with these hints, you might come back, providing some additional information, please:

  1. Do you use Collect or Enketo (WebForm)?
  2. On which server?
  3. Did you change the form version during data collection?
  4. Does this issue concern users randomly or special users/devices/browsers only?
  5. Are these data also empty in Excel download, all versions included?


Thanks so much for the response!

I’ve used the online validator and it did not find any issues.

I have a number of surveys currently active that use ‘value’ instead of ‘name’ in the choices sheet and none of the other ones have had this issue. I’ll update to ‘name’ moving forward to be more in compliance with XLS formatting, but that doesn’t appear to be the cause of the random missingness.

  1. We’re using Enketo (WebForm)
  2. We’re on the HHI server (
  3. The form has been updated during data collection, but the missingness did not coincide with a form update - we had several months of no issues and then it started doing it well after the last update.
  4. The form is open to all submitters. We haven’t been able to verify if it is only associated with certain browsers or devices as data collectors are MoH staff in rural areas, so communication is a major challenge. We are attempting to follow up on this, but we can’t always verify which facilities had the blank submissions so it is hard to cross-check.
  5. The data are empty in Excel (even with selecting “all versions”) as well as on the Kobo server. I’ve tried as many data download options as possible but it is always blank.