The Data Dictionary is a collection of names, definitions, and attributes that outlines what kind of data you can import into Ripple. It shows all the values that a global or study-specific Template can take, and the format of these variables. You will use the Data Dictionary as a guide to make sure you enter data correctly into the import Template file.
Pay close attention to the expected format of these variables including letter case. The import tool is very case-sensitive and will give you an error if you use the wrong format. Dates, times, and custom variable options are all case-sensitive.
Reading your Data Dictionary
Your Data Dictionary is composed of 4 columns that will tell you what variables you can import into, the type of data that can go into Ripple, and how it can be written.
1. Field: This is the place or variable that you will be importing data into. In your Global data's Data Dictionary, this includes all of Ripple’s pre-set fields including name, global and family IDs, pre-set demographic variables, tags, contact information, global contact, email, consent, and comments logs, and global custom variables. For your Study-specific Data Dictionary, you will have all the fields in your Global Data Dictionary and extra fields for events, statuses, custom IDs, recruitment sources, sites, & strategies, and additional study-specific custom variables.
2. Type: This shows you the type of value that the field will take. This is based on Ripple’s pre-set variable options and how you set up your custom variable options. The type options include short text, long text, single select, multi select, number, boolean, option, date, or date time.
3. Allowed: This shows you how your data should be formatted. For single select and multi select variables, this column will show you which option or options you can write into your template. It will also show you the correct format for dates.
4. Description: This explains important notes about requirements for the data, tells you if the variable is global, and gives extra formatting tips where applicable.
To make sure you are following formatting rules, you should copy the options from the Allowed column and paste it into your Template.
Additional Formatting Rules of your Data Dictionary
In your Data Dictionary, you will see the following rules:
- All words need to be entirely lowercase, with the exception of the Boolean responses: TRUE and FALSE
- Spaces between words in your variables will be replaced with underscores on your Template
- Dates need to be in a specific MM/DD/YYYY format. To get dates into this format:
- Highlight the column that contains your date data
- Right-click and select “format cells”
- Choose the “Date” category
- Use the second to last option at the bottom of the list
- Do not use the option with the asterisk (*)