If data collection is underway in the field, can we change something else in the form designed in Excel and redeploy it without affecting the data already collected?
Also, when I change the title of the form on the platform, does it affect the data ???
I manage a project where data collection is on-going. We noticed some small mistakes in the form, which we have corrected in the Excel file.
When is the best moment to update and redeploy the project?
Would it interfere with data collection if enumerators are currently in the field collecting data? Or can it be done at any point without causing problems for on-going interviews?
Thanks for your input.
If its a small typo error in the questionnaire, the change you make may not really affect the structure of your data. However, if you are adding a variable or deleting a variable to the survey project this will affect the structure of your data. And at this point you should only be able to collect information based on the survey form (questionnaire) you last redeployment.
I would thus advise you to clone your survey project and make a fresh deployment (by amending your survey tools). Stop data collection in the field. Request the enumerators to upload all the data (to the KoBoToolbox server) they have collected so far and request them to download the new updated survey form to their KoBoCollect android app so that they could resume the data collection from the last spot they stopped at. This should keep your previously collected data as well as the newly collected data safe (and you wouldn’t risk of loosing any data and variables).
Same with the name of the survey project. Though changing the name of the survey project should not affect you at the moment (during an ongoing data collection), you sometimes could have problem at the later stages (i.e. downloading data and so on).
Maybe the following support article Recovering data from previous form versions should also be helpful for you at the moment to better understand your issue.
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