Back to the Data Export Overview

This export functionality provides the ability to download data from the forms submitted to CommCareHQ. You should use this feature when you are interested in measuring an outcome across beneficiaries across time. Applications that track a beneficiary over time will usually collect data in different forms at different points in time. This Form export will capture all of the changes in the data at these different time points. 

Location: CommcareHQ -> Data -> Export Data -> Export Forms

This page is divided into five main parts:

A. Creating New Form Exports

A form export allows the user to set up a download of a form's data. Form exports can later be viewed and downloaded by other members of the project space.

In order to create an export, you can follow the steps below:


Export Settings

Additionally there are four options that can be selected by checking the box:

Form Settings

Show Deleted Questions and Advanced Properties: If selected, the export will allow you to see advanced properties and questions that have been deleted from the current version of your application. Advanced properties include metadata like case updates and server information.


Privacy Settings

This allows the user to select form data to be de-identified. This means that when the data is exported to an excel sheet, the columns will still be in the data export but the data values will not contain personal information that can be tracked to a single beneficiary.      

B. Downloading Form Exports

The Export Forms page shows the exports you or others have created:


            Name: The name you titled the export

            Edit: Edit your export to change the data included in that export

            Export: Download the export

            Bulk Export: Download your exports in bulk. Each export will be downloaded as an individual sheet in a single Excel workbook

In order to download an export, click "Export"

C. Bulk Forms Export

Purpose: Allows a data manager to track the data across forms in one single excel document. It further increases the scope of data analysis and allows more in-depth study.

The bulk forms export gives you the option to download all form exports in bulk - i.e all forms data can be downloaded into one excel workbook with each tab in the excel file representing each form in the application.

These are the steps to create a bulk forms export



Note: bulk exports will only export the first tab from each export. Tabs containing repeat or case history data will not be included.

D. Multimedia Exports

Downloading Captured Media Files

Media files in CommCare include files captured from Image, Audio, Video, and Signature questions. These files are referenced in standard form exports, but the multimedia file is not displayed outright. When exporting a form that captured multimedia, that question in the export will contain a link rather than the multimedia file itself. Clicking this link will allow you to either download the multimedia or will open a link containing the multimedia element, depending on the kind of file.  Ways to download multimedia directly are as follows:

If you want to download a single multimedia file, you can locate the form it is associated with as described in Media Capture Questions in CommCare.

1. To start, save the export you would like to download (as you would in Part B above). Be careful to include the multimedia field by adding check-box next to it.
2. Scroll down on your form exports page until you see the Export you want to download. Select the blue export button
3. Now you have arrived at the download form export page. there are two buttons. 1) prepare export (deep blue) and 2) prepare multimedia (light blue). Pictured below. 
4. Select the"Prepare Multimedia" button, it will process, and the button will turn green. Select "Download Multimedia"

You can download all of the media files attached with a form from the Export Forms page on CommCareHQ:

Any form with associated multimedia files will have a Download button accessible. When you download the multimedia, it will appear as a zip file onto your computer, each photo will be a unique JPEG. These media files will be named in the format question ID-username-form id

Example: [question_id]-[username]-[form_id].jpg

Example: head_of_household-supervisor5-e9b4cdfa-c6a2-8607-b4e8-9839493ca2de.jpg

To identify which form submission a multimedia file came from, use the form_id (in green above). Each form submission has a unique form_id.

E. Common Questions Regarding Data Exports

What is the difference between "---" and blank values in form exports?


1. Seeing "---" in a form export

If you see "---" in a form, this means that a question was never presented to the end user. For example, if you have a question that had a display condition that was not met and therefore the question was hidden completely from the mobile worker, including that field in a form export will show "---" as the value, i.e. questions skipped logically/automatically by the app show up in exports as "---" 

This also happens when the mobile user is not using the latest version of an application in which question ids have been changed, hence the user never sees the latest questions and the data appears as "—". For more information, see Making Changes to a Deployed Application

2. Seeing blank in a form export

If you see a completely blank cell in Excel for a question, this means the question was presented to the user but not answered. This is different from "---" because the question was shown to the user, i.e. questions that the mobile user saw but decided to skip on their own show up in exports as an empty value, " ".