I spent a lot of time reading all the ODK website info and troubleshooting
using this forum, and with help from the ODK team and info I managed to
complete the ODK workflow, from creating a form to downloading completed
forms into excel.
One of the major issues was that I have a form with lots of repeat loops,
which meant that ODK aggregate publisher was not usable to view or retrieve
my data. So I used ODK briefcase to generate a CSV file for each of my
repeat loops and then imported the CSV files in Excel and linked them.
During this process I made notes of the step by step instructions for each
leg in the process. Perhaps these notes will help others so I am posting
Please note I am not an ODK expert! I am just summarizing the steps that
worked for me that I have found from reading the ODK website and working
through my own form process.
I hope it helps:
Design your form in Excel: guidelines & examples found at
Upload your XLS file to XLSForm:
a. Click “choose file” and navigate to where your XLS file is saved.
b. Click submit
c. If the form is correctly designed you will see two green buttons:
“Download” & “Preview in enketo”
Click “Preview in enketo”
This will open a new window for enketo
a. check the functions in your form are working (wont look identical to
the final form)
b. If there are issues, edit in Excel and repeat step 2.
c. When form is ready, close enketo window.
Click “Download” remember where you download to!
Uploading form to ODK Aggregate:
Log in to ODK Aggregate
(to set up an account see http://opendatakit.org/use/aggregate/
Upload XML to ODK aggregate
a. Click add new form
b. Navigate to where you saved your form in step 4 of previous section
Download “ODK collect” app on an android device
Enter app and in settings change the url and password to your
Aggregate url: https://your_url.appsport.com
Click “Get blank form” and save form to device
Fill blank form and mark as finalised when complete
Click “send finalized form’ and select forms you want to send to
your Aggregate site.
Retrieving data using ODK Briefcase
ODK aggregate publisher is not very easy to use when your form has several
repeat loops, so you can use ODK briefcase to create a final datasheet in
Excel with completed data from all your repeat loops.
View submissions in your ODK Aggregate account to make sure they
Download briefcase jar. and run it
Add aggregate URL: https://your-url.appspot.com
Define where you want to store your briefcase download e.g
Enter Pull tab in briefcase jar.
Select survey & click “Pull” data –wait until it tells you download
was a success
Enter Export tab- Export as CSV to directory ODK Export e.g
Open new Excel file in Excel
Click Import Data/From Text
Navigate to ODK export –CSV files (one for each repeat loop)
Select “ as delimiter
Repeat import for each repeat loop as separate excel sheet in your
Identify the correct keys that link each repeat loop sheet to another
sheet and use the Vlookup function to create a final data sheet with all