Problem with downloading data from Commcare


I am using CommCare and having two issues when I download the data using both the CSV and Excel output. I am using a case survey set-up with multiple forms that the data collector is instructed to use.

  1. I created a time variable [the time variable that is built into commcare] where the data collector is supposed to enter the time of a certain event (e.g. 9:34 am). When I download the data, all of the cells are empty. When I look at the form within commcare submit history, the times have all been entered correctly. I am not sure why this data is now also downloading correctly. Given that we have already collected the data is there a way to deal with this on the backend that does not require re-entry /recollection of data.

  2. There is one question where the responses did not come through at all when I download the excel or csv file. When I look at the form within Commcare submit history, the data has all been entered. Is there a reason why Commcare might not be able to download a certain question.

Looking forward to feedback on if there is another way to download this data.


Hi @tjs6610

When you say "download the data", are you using the "Export Form Data" feature, or the "Export Case Data" feature? (Or are you downloading the data some other way?)

The reason I ask is because if you are using the "Export Case Data" feature, but one particular form question was not (always?) saved to the expected case property, then even though it was filled in on the form, that could explain why the value is empty when the case is exported.

The rest of my reply assumes that this is what has happened, so it might be best to confirm my assumption before you try one of the solutions I'm going to suggest:

Could you check Case Management for the form that is collecting the values that are missing, and ensure that the correct form question is indeed being saved to the case, with the correct case property name.

If the values have been saved to the case, but with a different case property name than expected, then you can just try "Export Case Data" again, and include the case property where the form question value is being saved.

If the wrong form question was saved to the case, or if that case property was accidentally not populated at all, then I can think of two options you could choose to resolve this:

  1. Use "Export Form Data": You should have all the data in the form available, as the data collector entered it.
  2. Use both "Export Form Data" and "Export Case Data": Then use Excel to copy the form data you want to the case worksheet (maybe by using VLOOKUP on the case ID). ... Then if you want to update the cases in CommCare, you could use "Import Cases from Excel" with your now-corrected cases. This way the correct data ends up in CommCare, without having to re-enter it.

Again, in this reply I have made some big assumptions about what might be causing the problem. Apologies in advance if these assumptions are not correct.

I hope that helps,


Hi Norman:

I think the problem may have been that I reassigned values to the choices - they were words and I changed them to numbers, so I guess this requires re-entry of data?