Cleaning Data in CommCare Just Got Easier
Data can be messy. Requirements change, humans make mistakes, and your data sets start to look rough around the edges. The CommCare team is excited to announce new tools to help make sure your data is pristine.
The Old World: Edit Form Submissions
Until now, cleaning data was only possible through the edit form submissions tool, which allows you to re-submit a form using CommCare HQ’s Web Apps. We recognize this workflow can be cumbersome. When your goal is to make specific, surgical changes to a couple of responses in a complex form, stepping through all of the form’s logic is unwieldy and error-prone.
In addition, the edit form submissions tool has a number of caveats, such as being unable to edit user cases. From its documentation:
Lastly, because edit form submissions depends on Web Apps, it is subject to the same limitations as Web Apps.
While the edit form submissions tool can be used to clean forms and cases, these limitations have been frustrating and have become a burden for our support team.
The New World: Data Cleaning
The edit form submissions tool is being replaced by some new data cleaning tools, which support more targeted cleaning of forms and cases.
To edit a case, find the case, likely by using the Case List report. The new Clean Case Data button appears below the case’s properties, next to Close Case:
Clicking the button brings up a list of the case’s properties and current values:
You can edit these properties and then save. You will then see the updated case properties, and under Case History, there will be a new form containing your changes.
Cleaning a form is similar to cleaning a case. When looking at an individual form, you will see the Clean Form Submission button:
This brings up a list of the form’s questions and responses:
Once you’ve edited responses and saved, you’ll see a note that the form has been edited from a previous version and a link to get back to that previous version.
How do I get access?
Data cleaning is live now! Like Edit Form Submissions, it is available to all projects on a Pro plan or higher.
Edit form submissions will be available for a few more months and then removed. We hope that the new functionality will be an easier, more efficient way to clean your data. Let us know how you like this new feature in the CommCare Forum, and please reach out to firstname.lastname@example.org with any questions. For more information on this new feature, please visit our detailed update.
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