Updated on June 4, 2024


Created on August 26, 2016

Open Data Kit

The Open Data Kit is a set of free and open-source software for collecting, managing, and using data in resource-constrained environments.

Tested By
  • Columbia University
Content Partners


Product Description

According to their website Open Data Kit (ODK) allows a user to (1) build a survey through ODK Build, (2) conduct mobile data collection with ODK Collect, and (3) aggregate the collected data and extract with ODK Aggregate.

Find a video here explaining ODK.

Read more about the deployment of projects using ODK.

Target SDGs

SDG 9: Industry, Innovation and Infrastructure

SDG 8: Decent Work and Economic Growth

Target Users (Target Impact Group)

Public Sector Agencies, NGOs

Distributors / Implementing Organizations

ODK is a collaboration between Google and the University of Washington. Core ODK development is supported by ongoing research at the University of Washington's Department of Computer Science & Engineering and through donations from users. The latest release can be downloaded on Play Store and GitHub.

Competitive Landscape

Direct competitors include SurveyCTO.

Manufacturing/Building Method


Intellectural Property Type


User Provision Model

The tools from Open Data Kit are accessible for download online. ODK Collect is built on the Android platform as an app.

Distributions to Date Status

ODK Collect on Android has been installed by more than 500,000 users, as of July 2018.

Mobile service required

Mobile internet

Device(s) required

Smartphone, Computer

Additional features required


Permanent network connectivity required

Not required for offline version

Type of applications for data collection

Smartphone app, web based application

Level of mobile data coverage needed

2G and above

Type of data collected

Text, Numbers, Location, Multimedia, Barcodes

Usage rate (%)


Literacy support


Languages available


Operating system and version

Android – version not specified

Power Requirements


Application of mobile data collection

M&E, Household surveys, Academic research survey, Impact evaluation, Market research

Design Specifications

Below are the ODK tools released and supported: - ODK Build enables users to generate forms - called XForms - using a drag-and-drop form designer. Build is implemented as an HTML5 web-based application and targets the common use case of a simple form. - ODK Collect is a phone-based replacement for the paper forms. Collect is built on the Android platform and can collect a variety of form data types: text, location, photos, video, audio, and barcodes. - ODK Aggregate provides a ready to deploy online repository to store, view and export collected data. Aggregate can run on Google's infrastructure as well as on local servers backed by MySQL and PostgreSQL. - ODK Form Uploader uploads a blank form and its media files to ODK Aggregate. - ODK Briefcase transfers data from Collect and Aggregate. - ODK Validate ensures that the users have a OpenRosa compliant form -- one that will also work with all the ODK tools. - ODK XLS2XForm allows XForms to be designed with Excel. ODK Collect interface

Product Schematics

Technical Support

Technical support is available through online Training Guides, implementer instructions and the developer wiki. For additional help, search the opendatakit@googlegroups.com mailing list (for general questions), and the opendatakit-developers@googlegroups.com (for coding questions) to see if the issue has been answered. If there is no answer available, a new question can be posted to the appropriate list and the ODK team will reply.

Replacement Components




Manufacturer Specified Performance Parameters

To assist in data collection, management, and use in resource-constrained environments using an open source approach.

Vetted Performance Status

In a study conducted at Columbia University, no hardware problems were encountered, but few software issues such as occasional freezing, slow GPS, suboptimal performance when used in areas without stable network connectivity, and problems with use of accented letters and special symbols in  the French version of the questionnaire. ODK has also been tested by users. The ODK Collect app is rated 4.4/5 by 2,532 users on Android.



Complementary Technical Systems


Academic Research and References

C. Hartung, A. Lerer, Y. Anokwa, C. Tseng, W. Brunette and G. Borriello, 2010, Open Data Kit: Tools to Build Information Services for Developing Regions, in ICTD, 2010.

W. Brunette, M. Sundt, N. Dell, R. Chaudhri, N. Breit and G. Borriello, 2013, Open Data Kit 2.0: Expanding and Refining Information Services for Developing Regions, in ACM HotMobile, 2013.

W. Brunette, R. Sodt, R. Chaudhri, M. Goel, M. Falcone, J. VanOrden and G.Borriello, 2012, Open Data Kit Sensors: A Sensor Integration Framework for Android at the Application-Level, in MobiSys, 2012.

R. Chaudhri, W. Brunette, M. Goel, R. Sodt, J. VanOrden, M.Falcone and G. Borriello, 2012, Open Data Kit Sensors: Mobile Data Collection with Wired and Wireless Sensors , in ACM DEV, 2012.

W. Brunette, S. Sudar, N. Worden, D. Price, R. Anderson and G. Borriello, 2013, ODK Tables: Building Easily Customizable Information Applications on Android Devices, in ACM DEV, 2013.

Y. Anokwa, N. Ribeka, T. Parikh, G. Borriello and M. C. Were, 2012, Design of a Phone-Based Clinical Decision Support System for Resource-Limited Settings, in ICTD, 2012.

D. Ichwana and T. Juhana, 2018, Implementation of Mobile Data Collection System for Disaster Rapid Emergency Response System Using Open Data Kit, in 2018 International Conference on Information Technology Systems and Innovation (ICITSI), pp. 485-490.

and older publications.

“Collect Data Anywhere.” n.d. Getodk.Org. Accessed June 4, 2024. https://getodk.org/ 

“ODK Collect.” n.d. Google.Com. Accessed June 4, 2024. https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=org.odk.collect.android

Our Repos Have Moved. See Opendatakit.Org for More. n.d. Accessed June 4, 2024. https://github.com/opendatakit 

“Open Data Kit.” 2018. Open Data Kit. March 1, 2018. https://opendatakit.org/

“Goal 9.” n.d. Sdgs.Un.Org. Accessed May 29, 2024. https://sdgs.un.org/goals/goal9

Getodk: Wiki and Issues (Copied from Https://Code.Google.Com/p/Opendatakit/). n.d. Accessed June 4, 2024. https://github.com/getodk/getodk 

“ODK Collect.” n.d. Google.Com. Accessed June 4, 2024. https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=org.odk.collect.android&hl=en 

“ODK Build.” n.d. ODK. Accessed June 4, 2024. https://docs.getodk.org/build-intro/

“ODK Collect.” n.d. ODK. Accessed June 4, 2024. https://docs.getodk.org/collect-intro/ 

“ODK Aggregate.” n.d. ODK. Accessed June 4, 2024. https://docs.getodk.org/aggregate-intro/ 

“Using ODK Briefcase.” n.d. ODK. Accessed June 4, 2024. https://docs.getodk.org/briefcase-using/

“ODK Briefcase.” n.d. ODK. Accessed June 4, 2024. https://docs.getodk.org/briefcase-intro/

Validate: ODK Validate Is a Java Application for Confirming That a Form Is Valid and Compliant with the ODK XForms Specification. Contribute and Make the World a Better Place! ???. n.d. Accessed June 4, 2024. https://github.com/getodk/validate 

“XLSForm.” n.d. ODK. Accessed June 4, 2024.https://docs.getodk.org/xlsform/ 

“Welcome to ODK’s Docs!” n.d. ODK. Accessed June 4, 2024. https://docs.getodk.org

Home. n.d. Accessed June 4, 2024. https://github.com/getodk/getodk/wiki 

Home. n.d. Accessed June 4, 2024. https://qsel.columbia.edu/assets/uploads/blog/2013/06/Open-Data-Kit-Review-Article.pdf 

“ODK Collect.” n.d. Google.Com. Accessed June 4, 2024. https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=org.odk.collect.android&hl=en 

Jeffrey?Coker, By: Frances, Matt Basinger, and Vijay Modi. n.d. “Open Data Kit: Implications for the Use of Smartphone Software Technology for Questionnaire Studies in International Development.” Columbia.Edu. Accessed June 4, 2024. https://qsel.columbia.edu/assets/uploads/blog/2013/06/Open-Data-Kit-Review-Article.pdf

Compliance with regulations


Evaluation methods

ODK was tested for user acceptance using online ratings. A study performed at Columbia University evaluated ODK performance in resource-constrained environments.

Other Information

F. Jeffrey?Coker, M. Basinger and V.Modi, 2010, Open Data Kit: Implications for the Use of Smartphone Software Technology for Questionnaire Studies in International Development, Columbia University Mechanical Engineering Department.

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