I made a lengthy lenghty form with around 500 variables. And as humans may, I discovered few spell mistakes in variable names. But the form has been deployed and has adound 300k submissions. I know that if i correct the variable name now, central will take it as a new field altogether, and the subsequent old data issues. But the variable is needed to be fixed somehow.
Any idea and method to do this internal 'surgery'?
I will say that you can download that data and then rename your variable. Once your variable name has been renamed you can easily use all the data.
For renaming of the variables. I personally use STATA. Please follow this guide.
What I usually do is export all the variable name in one column and in next column I entered new variables for that team and used concat function into excel. Once my code is ready in excel. I copy all the code from excel and put into STATA.do file.
Example: I named on variable as 'person_disablility' (note the spelling mistake). Now if I correct it to 'person_disability', 2 things will happen:
Central will treat it as a new variable, and make a new field/column for it.
My submission data for this variable/column will be left behind in the old variable/column, while the new data will come in new variable (the correct spelling one). This will cause a disconnect in any tool which is doing data processing or visualization at the output of ODK Central.