User Manual Tips and tricksUsing a global database

Using a global database

If you need a regional overview of your activities from several countries, or like to monitor global activities of your agency then there are two ways to go about it:

  1. combine data from multiple databases in several countries into a single report or
  2. use a global database.

In this article, we illustrate the use of the Global database in ActivityInfo.

1. Create a new GLOBAL database

Create a new GLOBAL database

Select "Global" from the country drop down list, to create a global database.

2. Click "create"

Click "create"

Click create, to create the global database

3. Decide location to report upon

Depending on the needs of your agency, the roll out or the users; decide upon which location type to report upon. In most cases you will use the first option below, namely: "Country" as a site type. Otherwise, you also have the option to create your own location type and to import a list of locations.

3.1. Reporting type: countries

Reporting type: countries

If you need to monitor indicators at a global level, from country offices for example, you can set up 'country' as location type in your form. Countries are available by default as a location type in ActivityInfo for global databases therefore you don't have to create these yourself.

3.2. Custom location type

Custom location type

If you need to report on a custom location type (for example general hospitals) you need to create a new location type (see Creating a Location Type).

Please note that that adding your own location types in a database will make these accessible to all users using a database in the same country. We therefore advise you not to create, for example, a location type 'Regional offices' for your agency's regional offices as all users with a Global database will be able to see these locations.

4. Reporting


Reporting in a global database is the same as in any 'normal' country database: go to data entry and add a new submission. With the 'site' type you will get a dropdown menu of countries if the reporting location is set to 'country' as explained in option Reporting type: countries above.

5. Analyse data from your global database

ActivityInfo allows you to analyse your data in pivot tables, charts and maps. Below is an example where the location type of the database is 'country'. Please see the section Reporting - Data analysis for general information about how to analyse your data.

5.1. Pivot tables

If you like to create a pivot table and visualize your data per country, make sure you select 'country' in the Geography tab on the right of your screen

5.2. Charts

Designing a charts depends on the information you need to get from the data in your system. As an example here we show the number of households receiving a bednet (an example indicator) per country over 2016.

5.3. Maps


You can create a map to visualize your data on a global level using proportional circles, icons or pie charts. The option Shaded Polygons will only work if you select a single layer (i.e. a single indicator) per country.