Longitudinal data collection user stories

After a couple of rounds of discussion, the TSC has come up with a list of user stories to form the basis of the implementation of case management, a/k/a longitudinal data collection:

The general use case here is to provide the ability to perform multiple reports on a single thing (or "entity") over an extended period of time, so for example multiple case records on a patient, or multiple census visits to the same village.

If this is something that you would like to be able to do with ODK, please take a look at the user stories, and see if they cover your requirements. If not, let us know, either by commenting on the doc, or by replying to this topic.

This is a pretty big new feature, and it's important that we know exactly what it is that everyone needs before we start working on it, so please help us out by telling us what you would like to use it for!

Good Morning @adam.butler,
@yanokwa told me that "longitudinal data collection" could be interesting for my colleagues and I and yes, I think he's right ! :slight_smile:
Do you want new stories from nature conservation NGO workers ? We collect data about plant and animal species and land use et farmer practices.

Bonjour @mathieubossaert!

Yes, I would love to hear about your longitudinal requirements. Have you had a chance to look at the Case Based Reporting User Stories document yet? If so, would those user stories cover your requirements, or are they missing something?

If there's something missing, or if you're not sure, it would be really helpful if you could describe the process you have in mind. Are you already doing longitudinal collection with another tool? Or are you still in the planning stages?

Hi @adam.butler,

I just red the document and I think it covers most of the case I have in mind, applied to ecological/biodiversity studies :slight_smile: , even if it is not planned in a first version :

As an enumerator I want to be able to review and refer to previous record data while filling a new record form

Maybe one scenario may not be listed but maybe it is just a matter of form design :
As an enumerator, at the first time, I list all the plant species I see in a define place.
A the second time I would like to check if all species I saw at the first time are already present and add missing ones.


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That should indeed be covered by the user story that you have quoted. Presumably the species will be a list (possibly a select?), and with that user story, it would be possible for a form to prefill an answer with the answer to the same question from the previous visit. This prefilled answer could then be edited as required.

Given your interest in this functionality, it might be possible to "promote" that user story to the initial implementation, or at least put it at the front of the queue of features that follow the initial implementation.

Thank you for your feedback!


Thank you @adam.butler - these are some of the most important features for me.

My understanding that ODK survey and ODK-X tools generally were going to be the platform designed for longitudinal data collection (https://docs.opendatakit.org/odk-x/hope-study-intro/), but reading your posts on this forum suggest that maybe this is on the way for ODK v2.0? Currently what would you recommend for someone needing only basic features of case management?

Hi @ThomasKraft,

ODK-X is an entirely separate suite of tools to ODK, as I'm sure you're aware, and there isn't always a clear split between them ("Use ODK for this; use ODK-X for that"). Deciding which one to use is left to the user, but will generally come down to considerations of maturity (ODK) vs. experimental functionality (ODK-X). It's important to understand, though, that ODK-X is not the "next" version of ODK - that's why it was recently renamed from ODK2 to ODK-X. It's a different project, using different tools and different standards.

Support for longitudinal data collection has been on the roadmap for ODK for many years, and we're now pushing to get it into the platform. Realistically, though, I don't think that it will be ready to use in 2019. So if you need to do longitudinal data collection right now, then you will have to use ODK-X - or it might be possible to approximate the functionality you require in ODK, something which may not be impossible, depending on your exact use case. If you can provide some more details about what exactly you're trying to do, we may be able to suggest some possible approaches.

Hi, now that 2020 is here I'm wondering if there are any updates on best practices for longitudinal data management?

In particular I would like to be able to conduct 3 separate surveys on the same individual consecutively and have them linked in some way (other than assigning a unique identifier and manually copying it to each form). Do you have any recommendations of how this might best be done at this time?

Hi, @adam.butler,
Was nice seeing that you had put somethings together on the case management feature on ODK. Actually want to know the status of the development of this feature. Thanks