Mobile Data Collection with ActivityInfo and ODK Collect

Introduction

We've just finished a version of integration with Open Data Kit's Collect application, which will allow you to collect data during surveys, monitoring visits, or even regular reporting using any Android mobile device or tablet and the results directly to ActivityInfo.

By using ActivityInfo for storage in place of ODK Aggregate or FormHub, you can take advantage of AI's advanced analysis and mapping tools, and seamlessly combine results from the field with reported outputs, baseline data, or other indicators from within and outside of your organization.

Setting up your Android phone or tablet

Using ODK collect requires an Android mobile device. It unfortunately doesn't run on an iPhone. The easiest way to add ODK Collect to your mobile device is through the Google Play store. Search for "ODK Collect" and then click "Install".

Pointing ODK to ActivityInfo.org

  1. Turn on your phone and open the ODK Collect application. You will see the home screen.
  2. Select the button at the bottom of the phone that is not the Home icon, the Search icon or the Back arrow. This icon looks different on different models of phone. It is called the "Menu" button.
  3. You will a "General Settings" appear. Select it.
  4. Under "Server Settings", you will see the URL of the ODK Aggregate instance to which your phone is connected. If this address has never been changed, the default is "http://open-data-kit.appspot.com".
  5. Click on "Server" to change the server address to https://www.activityinfo.org. Type in the new address. Now, any forms or data submissions you send will go to ActivityInfo. Note: make sure you enter "https" and not "http", otherwise you will not be able to login
  6. Click on "Username" to change the user name. Type in the email address that you use to log in to ActivityInfo
  7. Click on "Password" to set the password that you use to log into ActivityInfo
  8. Once you have entered in the name of the new server, hit the device's Back button to go back to the main menu. Confirm that you are accessing the new server by following the instructions in the next step.

Downloading Forms to your mobile device

  1. From the main menu, choose "Get Blank Form."
  2. If you are prompted for your username and password, enter the email address and password that you normally use to connect to ActivityInfo.
  3. You should see a list of ActivityInfo "Activities." The list will only include those for which you have "edit" permissions.
  4. Check the forms you wish to download to your device.

Collect and submit data

  1. From the main menu, choose "Fill Blank Form," and choose the ActivityInfo you wish to report against. You must have previously downloaded this form to your device.
  2. Choose the partner you are reporting on.
  3. Next enter the name of the location you are reporting on
  4. Next record the GPS location. ActivityInfo will later determine the Province, Governorate, etc from this location
  5. Enter results for each indicator and attribute
  6. From the main screen, choose "Send Finalized Form" to send results to ActivityInfo.

You can find visual instructions in our documentation here.

Want to try out ActivityInfo?

If you sign up to ActivityInfo then you are are automatically using the free plan which is a great way to give the service a try. The free plan includes full access to all features for an unlimited period of time.

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