Getting Started With ODK#

ODK lets you build powerful offline forms to collect the data you need wherever it is. You can:

  1. Build powerful forms that include photos, GPS locations, skip logic, calculations, external datasets, multiple languages, and more.

  2. Collect data offline with either the mobile app or the web app. Forms and submissions are synced when an Internet connection is found.

  3. Analyze with ease by downloading your data as a CSV or linking ODK to Excel, Power BI, Python, or R to create live-updating dashboards.

From research scientists to field teams to M&E professionals, millions of people just like you use ODK to collect their important data. Here's how to get started.

Get a Central server#

The fastest and easiest way to get a Central server is by using ODK Cloud. ODK Cloud is official managed hosting service of Central on ODK's fast, reliable, and secure infrastructure.

If you are technical, you can also install Central on your own infrastructure for free. Get started with our self-hosting Central guide.

You can find details on the many ways to install Central and the various trade-offs in Installing Central.

Get the Collect app#

The best way to get the Collect app is to download it from the Google Play Store.

You can also install manually from an APK.

Upload your XLSForm to Central#

  1. Create a form definition using XLSForm or try this sample XLSForm.

  2. Upload your XLSForm to Central and publish it.

Connect Collect to Central#

  1. Create an App User in Central and assign your form to that user.

  2. Open Collect, tap Configure with QR code and scan the code created for your App User.

Fill your form in Collect#

  1. Select Fill Blank Form to fill out your form.

  2. Your form data will be automatically sent to Central when you finish.

Use your data in Central#

  1. Log into Central and see your data.

  2. Download your data as a CSV or visualize it in Power BI.