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SurveyCTO Toolbox

4 Data Quality

The ODK world is usually very rich in features that improve data quality. What we are focusing on here however, is the potential of SurveyCTO in this area, the tool being particularly advanced.

Indeed, with the help of many automated features and workflows defined upstream of the data collection, SurveyCTO makes it possible to control and improve the quality of the data collected throughout the data collection.

Generally speaking, on your online SurveyCTO server, the “Monitor” tab allows you to track submitted submissions and monitor your data for errors.

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This tab is used to, for instance:

  1. Track the number of submissions over time (“Submission statistics”)
  2. Visualise the data collected: metadata, descriptive statistics, etc. (“Monitor form data”)
  3. Audit (review and approve) the collected data as it comes in, to ensure quality (“Review workflow”).
  4. Define and enable automated quality checks. These are statistical verifications based on various criteria that you can choose from. Said verifications report data issues as they are submitted!

Please refer to the following subsections to learn about the related tutorials:

Other features, which we will not detail here, exist on SurveyCTO:

  • The recording of metadata relating to actions performed on the server (deployment and modification of a form, user name of someone having made modifications, date, etc.).
  • The collection of audit metadata, collected during surveys (text, audio, minimum speed): makes it possible, for each survey, to record the time spent on all (also available on ODK) or some of the questions on the form; makes it possible to record audio sequences during the survey, at random or predefined times (for example, based on a minimum threshold for the response time to a question – also available on ODK, but only for predefined moments), helps prevent the enumerator from moving to the next question, if he or she has not spent at least x seconds on the question (not available on ODK).

This functionality can be used to gauge the flow of the questionnaire and/or to identify questions that may have been administered too quickly for the data to be of sufficient quality. Nevertheless, implementation of this metadata collection system and analysis of the latter are relatively time consuming.

These metadata (time spent per question, audio recording, etc.) are collected automatically, without the enumerator being informed. For ethical reasons, it is your responsibility to inform the enumerators, in order for this data not to be collected without their knowledge.

⇒To learn more about audit metadata (configuration, export, etc.), see the SurveyCTO documentation at: