Mobile Data Collection

Intro to Open Data Kit (ODK) and formub

Open Data Kit (ODK) is a set of free and open-source tools to help you use mobile data collection solutions.

"timely and accurate data is the single greatest component of making socially impactful decisions"

"making data collection simple — allowing more time for harder tasks like how to make an impact with the information"

what is formhub

  • tool for making data collection simple
  • built by the Modi Research Group at Columbia University
  • freely available under an opensource license

1. DESIGN the survey


  • created in Excel
  • easy collaborative authoring
  • enables large, complex, multi-lingual surveys
  • lots of community support online

2. COLLECT the data

with computer

& web form

with android device

& ODK Collect

3. ANALYZE the data

Why use formhub?


  • surveying and encoding combined into one step
  • data can be analyzed as it is being collected


  • skip logic to guide the data gatherer
  • constraint checks to ensure data is entered properly
  • no encoding step means no transcription errors


  • collect data at the source
  • accurate timestamps
  • GPS coordinates
  • photos
  • etc.

Structured Data = Unlocked Data

Excel is a powerful tool

Create online tools to analyze (good) data