Pre-load data in a repreat group

Hello everybody,
I really appreciate any hints and advice to my issue:

I am programming a household survey as a follow-up to a former survey. I want to load previously collected data (in particular: Names of the household members and their occupations) into the new forms and ask follow-up questions about the occupations.

***What have I done so far:
I managed to pre-load the names and occupations (using .csv files and uploading them with the forms to aggegate).
I generated a new "variable" for each loaded name and wrote down the questions for each housheold member line by line.

*** Problem:
This makes the Excel sheet incredibly long (we have up to 15 members per household), it is tedious and error-prone and I wonder whether it is possible to use a repeat group to load each name and occupation one-by-one and then ask the followup questions within the repeat group - so I only have to write them down once.

Please feel free to ask if somethin has not been clear or if you need any more info.
I am looking forward to your support!


Two things;

  1. Why do you need to write down survey details, could these be entered into ODK?
  2. Repeat could be an option, but you need to think through how you will load details of each household since their number varies. Maybe use repeat counter...


Hello Paul,

thank you for your response!

Regarding your first remark: I'm not sure I understand the question correctly. I want to preload data to shorten the interview time.
Regarding your second remark: Can you explain how to do a repeat group with pre-loaded data?

Let me clarify my approach a little further:
For each household, I load the names and occupations of the household members from the previous interviews and then late ODK calculate variables for each name and occupation.
name1 = Aaron
occupation1 = Farmer
name2 = Bella
occupation2 = Shop owner

Subsequently, I can reference these in the questions:
"Previously, you said that ${name1} is a ${occupation1}. Is this still correct?"

However, this will get VERY long and complicated as soon as I add more household members and follow-up questions.
Thus, I would like to create a repreat group to load the first name and occupation, ask the follow-up questions and only then load the next one.

I'll include the form and .csv in short version for you to make it clearer.

odk_preload.csv (503 Bytes) odkforum_q.xml (5.6 KB)

I would still appreciate any comments and recommendations!


In the pre-loaded csv file you could add a count for each household as a column. This would then be pre-loaded and linked to the repeat counter.

Would you be able to share the xml file as an xls file? I could try design something for you.

Paul Macharia

Hello Paul,

thanks for the offer. I am looking forward to your suggestion! Find attached the file .xlsx file.

odkforum_q.xlsx (16.3 KB)

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