Download Data from Kobo to Excel

I downloaded data to excel, however, the information is not aligned with the respective heading and some of the data seems to be missing in the excel spreadsheet. How can this be addressed, please? I am really concerned about losing the data or it getting corrupted.

Looking forward to hearing from you soon.

Hi @nadiananderson, can you please try exporting your data using the legacy export option. Can you also please send me the following details in a private message so I can take a look:

  • server (Kobo/OCHA)
  • username
  • project name
1 Like

Thanks much, Josh for trying to assist me.
Server: Researcher
Username: xxxxxxx


@nadiananderson, in the meantime, could you also check downloading your data in XLS (legacy) format to see if the same happens there too?

Hi @nadiananderson, thank you for sending those details. I have taken a look and it appears the issue is related to the fact that some of your question names have changed over the versions of your form — this may have been unintentional and due to not specifying an explicit name in the formbuilder for your questions, and then updating the label. This unfortunately creates a new autoname for your question and therefore unintentional duplicates in the export which explains the empty columns from KE to PZ in the Excel file. This will also occur if you have previous versions without an explicit question name and then create one (which appears to be the case for at least one question I looked at). Please note that this does not reflect missing data but rather the situation described above.

Here is the difference between deployed versions v2 (vttYPq84PTGCj8XAAomfij) and v3 (v9GcLyMGE5GYAyS2BR6zAd) for a particular question:

+        "name": "Q3a_What_is_the_highest_level",
         "type": "select_one",
         "$kuid": "vk6cc63",
         "label": [
           "Q3a.  What is the highest level of education you completed?"
         "required": false,
-        "$autoname": "Q3a_What_is_the_hi_cation_you_completed",
+        "$autoname": "Q3a_What_is_the_highest_level",
         "select_from_list_name": "is3ex62"

In this case, you can search for the question name Q3a_What_is_the_hi_cation_you_completed in the Excel export and see that it is one of the empty columns since you changed the name to Q3a_What_is_the_highest_level before data was collected.

You can continue exporting your data with the option “Include data from all 12 versions” toggled off and those columns will not appear in the export:
Screen Shot 2022-03-17 at 11.22.52 AM

In the future, it is advisable to create explicit names for every question and choice in the formbuilder before deploying your form to avoid this.

We will be putting measures in place to help prevent this too.

1 Like

Dear Josh,

Thank you for your feedback. I tried your recommendation to search for the Q3a_What_is_the_highest_level. However I only find the question, no corresponding responses were in the excel sheet.
I tried downloading the file again and received this message.

Please, how can I access the data?

Hi @nadiananderson, this error is due to the path and filename being too long. Can you rename the file to something shorter and try opening again :slightly_smiling_face:

1 Like

Thanks so much Josh. We have solved that part of the issue. How can I find the data that does not come over in excel from kobo, for example; marital status, what gender best describes you.

Please, Josh.

@nadiananderson, did you check Include data from all ... versions as advised by @Josh while downloading your data?

Screen Shot 2022-03-17 at 11.22.52 AM

No, I did not. It is unchecked.

Would you mind checking the same and then trying to make a download again?

I tried just now to download using XLS and XLS (legacy) and both file came out without that information.

I tried searching in the excel files for those variables I mentioned and couldn’t find them.

Could you take a further look at it for me please?

Hi @nadiananderson, I have taken a look at those two questions and seen that your choice names do not match the labels and therefore the export (when exported with “XML values and headers”) shows confusing responses for those questions. This is an issue in your form creation and not in the export.

1 Like

Okay. Thanks for that feedback. How do you recommend that I gain access to the data for those items?

Hi @nadiananderson, as I mentioned above (and showed in the images), the data is exported but the name might not be what you expected because of how you made the form. You can create an export using your Labels and then you will see the labels rather than the names.

1 Like

Thank you so much. Problem solved and lessons learnt.


In the meantime, could you also check downloading your data in XLS (legacy) format to see if the same happens there too?