Basics of KoboToolbox

Last updated: 3 May 2024

KoboToolbox is an innovative open source platform for collecting, managing, and visualizing data. It is the mostly widely used data tool for social impact initiatives across the globe. Learn more about how KoboToolbox supports nonprofit organizations with access to high quality tools for creating data-driven change.

KoboToolbox makes it easy to develop forms for data collection. It also has features for managing projects, visualizing data, and building complex forms. This article provides a quick overview of a few KoboToolbox basics.

Developing forms

With KoboToolbox’s powerful and intuitive Formbuilder, you can build forms with different question types, advanced form logic, and XLSForm.


  • Question types: Choose from over 25 qualitative and quantitative question types, including text, multiple choice, media, and GPS.

  • Form logic: Use skip logic, calculations, and validations for high quality data.

  • XLSForm: To create more complex forms, use XLSForm in Excel or Google Sheets, upload to KoboToolbox, and edit directly in the KoboToolbox Formbuilder.

  • Translations: Easily add translations of your forms in hundreds of different languages.

Learn more about form building.

Using the question library

Standardize data and streamline form building by creating form templates and using questions from the Public Collections library.


  • My Library: Create, organize, and save custom questions and templates in your library.

  • Public Collections: Use a question, block of questions, or entire form template from the Public Collections library in your form and customize it as needed. Questions and templates in the public library are contributed by other users and are available to everyone.

Learn more about using the Library.

Collecting data

Collect data offline or online on any device with web forms and the KoboCollect app.


  • KoboCollect: Use the KoboCollect Android app to collect data on mobile devices. You can easily add forms from your KoboToolbox account to KoboCollect and transfer data collected to KoboToolbox. Download the KoboCollect app for free from Google Play.

  • Web forms: KoboToolbox uses the open source software Enketo web forms. Web forms can be used in any browser on mobile devices, laptops, or desktops.

Learn more about using mobile devices for data collection.

Reviewing and analyzing data

With KoboToolbox, you can ensure data quality and generate insights with flexible table views and qualitative data features.


  • Table views: Customize views, display data in multiple languages, and validate submissions in real time.

  • Automated transcription and translation: Use automated transcription and translation features for qualitative data.

  • Qualitative analysis: Use the qualitative analysis features to identify themes and patterns in audio responses.

Visualizing and downloading data

KoboToolbox makes it easy to identify and share insights with reports, data visualization, and download options.


  • Custom reports: Visualize data with custom reports and interactive maps.

  • Download data: Download and export data in multiple formats, including XLS, CSV, KML, ZIP, and GeoJSON.

Managing projects and teams

Easily manage one survey or hundreds with KoboToolbox’s project management features, including project summaries, permissions, and case management.

Project management

  • Project summaries: Monitor submissions, view team members, and track form details.

  • Permissions: Share projects with team members using row-level permissions.

  • Case management: Link projects using dynamic data attachments to collect and manage longitudinal data.

Learn more about project sharing and permissions.

Connecting KoboToolbox with other platforms

Connect project data across different platforms and integrate your KoboToolbox data with other software such as Excel and Power BI.

Data management

  • Synchronous exports: Share data across different applications without downloading any files using synchronous exports.

  • REST services: Connect your project to external programs using REST services.

  • KoboToolbox API: Use the application programming interface (API) to build interactive dashboards and visualize data with other software.