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Use of Periods


Dear all,

I understand that the period-dimension for data entry and analysis traditionally
comes from the reporting periods, along which routine summary reports are
entered into the system.

In our setting, where we want to load aggregated data from relational data base
systems into DHIS2 data-sets, we don't really have reporting periods as such
(reporting frequency is daily). Nevertheless there are number of dates to be
respected when reporting data-elements.

Since the period dimension seems to be the only way to represent dates in the
DHIS2 aggregate level, I can think of two options to model dates into a

1 - preferred: use the standard period-dimension and code the data-elements
according to a reference date into the period dimension (e.g. Number of Births
-> Date of Birth, Number of registrations -> date of registration) The problem
here is, that I can't seem to find a way of analyzing data without restriction
to a date (e.g. to get the total amount of people based registrations from up to
40 years ago) in pivot table, visualizer or dashboards. The maximum I can get
out is over a time-span of 10 years as DHIS2 forcefully requires the user to
chose a specific period.

2 - use the categories (year, month, day) for each date (e.g BirthYear,
BirthMonth, BirthDay) combined into CategoryCombos and code the dates as
CategoryOptions (inflating of course the number of OptionCombos) although this
seems to be quite flexible, I will be missing out on the dynamic featrues (e.g
current year, last 12 months) and iI might confuse the user as there will be a
date-dimension which is not being used.

How are others using the date dimension when having to aggregate across
unlimited periods WITHIN DHIS2? Is there maybe a setting for the analysis
module, where I can extend the number of years?

Thanks for sharing your experiences,


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