2.2. Data entry with DHIS 2

To open the data entry window click on the services tab displayed in the main menu. A drop down menu will appear listing the services provided by DHIS 2. Click on the Data Entry option.

The data entry module is where data is manually registered in the DHIS 2 database. Data is registered for an organisation unit, a period, and a set of data elements (data set) at a time. A data set often corresponds to a paper-based data collection tool.

2.2.1. Selecting the data entry form

To start entering data the first step is to open the correct form. Follow these steps:

  1. Locate the orgunit you want to register data for in the tree menu to the left. Expand and close branches by clicking on the +/- symbols. A quick way to find an orgunit is to use the search box just above the tree (the green symbol), but you need to write in the full name to get a match.

  2. Select a data set from the dropdown list of data sets available to your selected orgunit.

  3. Select a period to register data for. The available periods are controlled by the dataset's period type (reporting frequency). You can jump a year back or forward by using the arrows above the period.

By now you should see the data entry form.

You can change the type of form using the radio buttons above the form in the top right corner. The available types are: 1) "Default forms" which are simple list-based or tabular forms, 2) "Section forms" which can consist of multiple tables and better mimic the paper forms, or 3) "Custom forms" which follow a completely custom design defined by the user. Section and custom forms require that these have been set up by the user first, while default is always available. In the top-right corner just above the form you can switch between the three types of forms.

2.2.2. Entering data

Simply start entering data by clicking inside the first field and type in the value. Move to the next field using the Tab button. Shift+Tab will take you back one step. The values are saved immediately and do not require any save/finished button click. A green field indicates that the value has been saved in the system (on the server). On a slow connection it might take some time before the values are saved.

Input validation: If you type in an invalid value, e.g. a character in a field that only accepts numeric values you will get a pop-up that explains the problem and the field will be coloured yellow (not saved) until you have corrected the value. If you have defined a min/max range for the field (data element+organisation unit combination) a pop-up message will notify you when the value is out of range, and the value will remain unsaved until you have changed the value (or updated the range and then re-entered the value).

Disabled fields: If a field is disabled (grey) it means that the field should not be filled. The cursor will automatically jump to the next open field.

Hide/show section data: When using section forms it is possible to minimise and maximise sections by clicking on the section headers.

Data history: By double-clicking on any input field in the form a data history window opens showing the last 12 values registered for the current field (organisation unit+data element+categoryoptioncombo) in a bar chart. This window also shows the min and max range and allows for adjusting the range for the specific organisation unit and data element combination.

Follow Up: In the data history window there is also a feature to tag or star a value. E.g. a suspicious value that needs further investigation can be kept in the system, but marked for Follow-Up. In the Data Quality module you can run a Follow-Up analysis and view all values marked for Follow-Up, and then later edit the values if proved incorrect.

2.2.3. Validating data in the form

When all the available values for the form has been filled in you can run a validation check on the data in the form. Click on the "Run Validation" button in the top right corner. All validation rules which involves data elements in the current form (dataset) will be run against the new data. Upon completion you will be presented with a list of violations or a simply a message that says "The data entry screen successfully passed validation". See the Data Quality chapter for information on how to define such validation rules.

When you have corrected any erroneous values and are done with the form the recommended practice is to click on the Complete button below the form to register the form as complete. This information is used when generating completeness reports for district, county, province or the national level.

2.2.4. Offline data entry

The data entry module will function even if during data entry the Internet connectivity is not stable. In order to utilize this functionality, you must login to the server while the Internet is functional, but if during data entry, the Internet link between your computer and the server becomes unstable, data can still be entered into the data entry form, saved to your local computer, and then pushed to the server once the Internet connectivity has been restored. Data can be entered and stored locally while being offline and uploaded to the central server when on-line. This means that the on-line deployment strategy will be more viable in areas with unstable Internet connectivity. The total bandwidth usage is greatly reduced since forms no longer are retrieved from the server for each rendering.

When the server is able to be reached through the Internet connection, a message is displayed at the top of the data entry screen below.

If the Internet connection should disconnect for some reason during the data entry process, this will be detected by the application, and you will be informed that your data will be stored locally.

Data entry can proceed as normal. Once you have entered all of the necessary data, and the application detects that the server is back on-line, you will be informed that you have data which needs to be synchronized with the server.

Once the data has successfully synchronized with the server, you will receive a confirmation message that the data has been successfully uploaded to the server.