Updating/ Redeploying survey form while data collection is on-going

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.

Hi @marfur,

Please note, KoBoToolbox allows amending the survey form and then redeploying the amended survey form during data collection phase (i.e. when the data collection is ongoing).

However please be cautious with the following:

  • Once you redeploy the survey form, you should replace the existing BLANK FORM with the corrected BLANK FORM (by pressing the Get Blank Form if you are using the KoBoCollect android app or by using the new link if you are collecting data through Enketo). If you fail to do so you will be collecting data in the old unedited survey form.

  • If its simply a typo error (that you have changed with the redeployment), you do not need to worry at all. The re-deployment has no effect in the dataset that you download at the end of your survey.

  • If you add a new variable or a skip logic to your existing survey form and then redeploy it, you will not be able to see the changes you made in the existing dataset (i.e. with the data you have already collected which is either stored in KoBoCollect android app, Enketo (web browser) or the ones that has been submitted to the KoBoToolbox server). The changes you made with the redeployment will only be seen in the data for those which has been collected after it (xlsform) has been redeployed.

To explore this scenario by yourself, i would suggest you to create a test project (with only a minimal variables say 2 to 4), deploy it and then start collecting data, submit the data to the server and then make changes to the survey form (adding 1 or 2 variables, skip logics) and then redeploy it. Again start with data collection and then submit the collected data. Download the data and see the changes while adding new variables or skip logics in the latest deployments.

I would also suggest you to go through the support article Recovering data from previous form versions which should guide you on how to download your data if you have a survey project which has multiple deployments.

Please let us know if this clarifies your queries!

GOOD DAY!

1 Like

Thank you for the detailed answer. If some enumerators still have records saved as draft on their devices, is there any risk that those would be affected by the redeployment?

Hi @marfur,

The data that is in your device does not get affected. Would strongly recommend you to make a test project and then see the changes and the affects with the redeployment before you go live. This would help you better understand the situation (and how the changes affects your dataset).

GOOD DAY!