Different question but same data column

Hi all,

Thank you in advance for any input you may be able to offer. Let me try to think of the best way too explain this.
In my project we use skip logic to make it easy to navigate questions related to specific provinces and districts. However, developing new questions in skip logic means that all of the data will go to different data columns in Excel. Is it possible to direct data from different questions into the same data column. II know the easiest option would be just to create a drop down list for province, district and commune, but when you are working with over a thousand commune in over a hundred districts it would take forever to find in a drop down list. Thanks again for your time.

Best regards


Each question generates a new field column in the data structure when you see it in table form in excel or the online Table view of Kobo dashboard.
However, i guess if you can explain the question better.
otoh, you could even try to look at following posts to see if they are helpful in what you may be trying to achieve.

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I have a suggestion. First, take a look at this post:

There are several pieces to this solution.

  1. This will need to be built in XLS and imported to Formbuilder, so make sure you understand this process well. The example above took me 15 minutes to create - start to finish - so maybe try it or one of the other samples.
  2. Create a spreadsheet of all provinces, districts and communes -in three columns. This will take some time, but there is no way around this. If you have other lists, you may be able to copy and paste portions of the list into your spreadsheet.
  3. Using your example, you probably have a small number of provinces, so this column should be fine. (Lets assume you have 10 provinces.) However, you have> 100 districts, so find some way to subdivide these logically. For example, north, south, east, west. Add this column between provinces and districts and give the column a logical name. On average, this would be about 25 districts per list, which is manageable. These 25 districts should each have (1000/10) / 4 = 25 communes. Again, this is manageable.
  4. Label your resultant spreadsheet appropriately and drop it into Formbuilder.

The hard part is probably to logically divide the provinces, but even if the user guesses wrong (chooses north rather than south), the resultant list of districts is relatively small and the user can make another guess if they do not see the desired result.

This breaks down a bit if the user does not know both the district and commune names. But with some creativity, you should find a logical solution. Good luck.

One more thought. Before adding the 4th column, just drop the 3 column list into Formbuilder and see how it looks. Try changing the appearance to horizontal. Maybe you will decide you can live with it as is. The other advantage is that it will prove that you XLS setup is correct before you add another variable.


Ok, another thought. Instead of North, South, etc, consider grouping by the nearest large city. For example, in Uganda, you might have Kampala, Jinja, Mbarara, Tororo, Lira, etc. The key is to create something that works logically to group your districts and communes together.