2.2. A flexible data model supports different data sources to be integrated in one single data repository

The DHIS2 design follows an integrated approach to HIS, and supports integration of many different data sources into one single database, sometime referred to as an integrated data repository or a data warehouse.

The fact that DHIS2 is a skeleton like tool without predefined forms or reports means that it can support a lot of different aggregate data sources. There is nothing really that limits the use to the health domain either, although use in other sectors are still very limited. As long as the data is collected by an orgunit (organisational unit), described as a data element (possibly with some disaggregation categories), and can be represented by a predefined period frequency, it can be collected and processed in DHIS2. This flexibility makes DHIS2 a powerful tool to set up integrated systems that bring together collection tools, indicators, and reports from multiple health programs, departments or initiatives. Once the data is defined and then collected or imported into a DHIS2 database, it can be analysed in correlation to any other data in the same database, no matter how and by whom it was collected. In addition to supporting integrated data analysis and reporting, this integrated approach also helps to rationalise data collection and reduce duplication.