Data model update

I have a question related to importing data from SMART mobile, while still modifying your data model on the job.
If I understand correctly data can not be imported from SMART mobile into the same CA when you change the datamodel. As the CA can not recognize the data format anymore.
Is this the same for changing the configurable model? If I am setting up a new model for Mobile, already collecting data but still modifying by trial and error, can the CA not recognize the data when uploading from mobile?
Does this mean that you always need a finished data model before you start your data collection in your database? Are there any workarounds to still change your data model/conf. model while you are testing in the field but still being able to collect data in the same database?

Kind regards

Hi Elke,
Can you elaborate on what type of changes you’re making to the data model? It’s strongly advised to deactivate rather than delete anything in the data model to avoid impacting any historical data or data currently being collected. If you’re doing something like adding another species to a species list, it isn’t going to break anything if that isn’t updated in SMART Mobile - users just wouldn’t have that new species available on the list until they update it.

You can certainly make updates to your data model over time, and you would just need to update your SMART Mobile devices to reflect those changes.

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Hi Matt,

Thanks for your reply. I am still in the development phase of the model as we just started with digitilization of data collection. So we are still making ongoing changes while we change it according to the feedback that comes back from the field team. Changing names, adding categories/attributes, reshuffling attributes etc…
We are just getting started with SMART so there is no “old” data yet in SMART. For the past 10-20 years be have maintaining an Access database and are discussing if/how to integrate with SMART. Any advise/tips are welcome!

So if I understand correctly, changing names of attributes/categories or adding things to the attribute lists will not impact the database. After updating the model on SMART Mobile I should be able to import data in the same database (CA). However, when I start removing or adding attributes to the datamodel, can I still update the model on SMART Mobile and collect data in the same database (CA). Or will this be too many changes to recognize the model still?
I am just trying to get a sense of how much we can still change on the go and how much needs to be finalised before we move over from paper data collection to digital data collection.

Kind regards,

Hi Elke,
As long as the model you have loaded in SMART Mobile matches the data model in your SMART CA, you shouldn’t run into any issues. However, if you’re making major changes to your data model, it could potentially cause issues with the data you’ve already collected. As long as you treat this as test data and delete the test patrols once you’re done making restructuring it, there shouldn’t be any problem going forward. You can still continue to make changes once you’ve started with data collection, but it will be important to preserve the original structure of your data model by disabling attributes instead of deleting or moving them.