Softwares that can help during a field operation

The huge variety of softwares and apps that exist today allow us to optimize our performance in field operations of all types.
Operational efficiency is, without a doubt, one of the most important element of all production or service activities. In addition, precise control of field operations can be the difference between achieving goals and losing competitiveness.
Below is a list of the softwares that can help you with your company’s field operations at all levels.

Pix4D

Pix4D is a must for all your photogrammetry and drone flight configuration needs.
With Pix4D, you are in complete control of all aspects of your project and have access to:

  • Defining specific areas of interest
  • Selecting processing options.
  • Adding ground control points.
  • Editing point clouds.
  • DSMs.
  • Meshes.
  • Orthomosaics.

SimPRO Software: Project and inventory management

SimPRO is a powerful field service management software which was designed and created by trade contractors, for trade contractors.
If you’re struggling to come up with offers, manage multi-stage projects, manage inventory, connect the office to the field or any other area of your workflow, SimPRO provides a streamlined platform to meet all your most pressing needs while helping you increase your productivity and profits at the same time.

Coral Collect: Mobile data collection

Coral Collect is a solution for the collection and management of field data.
If you want to carry out inspections and readings or make checklists, this solution is ideal for you. In addition to being very easy to use, it allows you to automatically create databases and reports from data collected in the field.
In addition, all the information collected is georeferenced so that you can view it on an online map or other mapping software.
Coral Collect is without a doubt the best value for money in terms of solutions for data collection in the field. Coral Collect offers free plans and an unlimited number of users.

Slack: Communication first and foremost

Slack is one of the most widely used employee-to-employee communication platforms in companies today. You might think that only office workers use Slack, but it’s in fact an excellent tool for communication with field teams thanks to its linked mobile application.
In addition to being free, the application allows you to communicate with all the members of your organization and create specific channels for each team.

TOMTOM: Full control over your vehicle fleet

The TomTom software technology appears to be a very effective option for managing vehicle fleets in real time.
This solution has a simple and user-friendly interface with clear lines and no complexity. It instantly displays traffic information, providing more detailed visibility of the exact status and location of monitored vehicles.
With TomTom’s Dashboard function, it’s possible to:

  • View the status of fleets
  • Check the individual performance of each driver, as well as evaluate their equipment,
  • Obtain a full overview of all fleet members and equipment at your fingertips.
  • Get access to the most relevant information, so that the supervisor can detect (and even prevent) possible unforeseen events.

This means that users can make better strategic decisions relating to:

  • Adjustment of variables.
  • Choice or change of routes based on traffic conditions.
  • Sending of new instructions to drivers.
  • Warnings when too much fuel is being used, excessive acceleration is detected, or the brakes of a vehicle are performing poorly.
  • The app is a flexible tool and has mobile versions for iOS and Android systems too.

We hope this list of softwares that can be used during field survey work was useful. Feel free to contact us if you have any questions regarding the Coral Collect app.

Rugged Android tablets for field use

We all know that tablets are ideal data collection tools when it comes to field work. With android tablets, and the right app  it is possible to fill out forms, take photos and upload your data quickly and conveniently.
However, using a tablet in the field comes with its own problems and limitations:

  • Bad weather conditions, such as rain and snow, can result in your tablet malfunctioning
  • Tablets can get damaged during transportation or if they are dropped while you are working in the field (most field surveys are done while standing or crouching)
  • Damp and dirty environments, such as muddy areas, can also result in damage and scratches on your tablet’s screen

Fortunately, there are Android tablets designed specifically for the purpose of outdoor use and field data collection. Sometimes known as “industrial tablets” or “outdoor tablets”, these tough devices are designed specifically for durability and are perfect for use in physically demanding environments while doing data collection and surveys in the field.

Below is a list of our favorite rugged Android tablet picks when it comes to data collection in the field.

Best Android tablets for data collection in the field

Panasonic Toughbook A3 rugged Android tablet

Specifications:

Weight0.9kg
Dimensions171.8mm x 196mm x 16.5mm
OSAndroid 9
Screen size10.1-inch
Resolution1920 x 1200 pixels
CPUQualcomm Snapdragon 660
RAM4GB
Storage64GB
Battery3,800mAh
Rear camera8MP
Front camera5MP

Other features of the Panasonic Toughbook A3 rugged Android tablet

  • Detects rain and wearing gloves
  • Withstands drops from 5 feet
  • Certified to IP65 for dust and water resistance
  • Two hot-swappable batteries

Samsung Galaxy Tab Active 2 rugged Android tablet

Specifications:

Weight415g
Dimensions127.6mm x 214.7mm x 9.9mm
OSAndroid 7.1.1.0
Screen size8-inch
Resolution800 x 1280 pixels
CPUOcta-core 1.6 GHz Cortex-A53
RAM3GB
Storage16GB
Battery4,450mAh
Rear camera8MP
Front camera5MP
MicroSD slotYes

Other features of the Samsung Galaxy Tab Active 2 rugged Android tablet

  • Water- and dust-resistant (half-hour in five-foot-deep water)
  • IP68 certification
  • MIL-STD 810G certification (drops, shocks and vibrations, high / low temperatures and humidity, and even high altitudes)
  • Electronic pen
  • Touch options on water
  • Gyroscope, GPS and a geomagnetic sensor
  • Easily replaceable battery (11h durability)

Zebra XSlate Android L10

Specifications:

Weight2.7 lbs (1.2 kg)
Dimensions280.8mm  x 195.2mm  x  22mm
OSAndroid 8.1 (Oreo)
Screen size10.1-inch
Resolution1920 x 1200 pixels
CPUQualcomm Snapdragon 660 octa-core 2.2 GHz
RAM4GB – 8GB
Storage64GB or 128GB eMMC
BatteryUp to 9.8 hours
Rear camera13MP
Front camera5MP
microSD slotYes

Other features of the Zebra XSlate Android L10 rugged Android tablet

  • 6-foot drop
  • Water and dust resistant
  • Glove / wet touch technology

Vanquisher Ultra-Rugged Android Tablet

Specifications:

Screen size8 inches
BrandVanquisher
Model nameSV-86
Memory storage capacity128GB
DimensionsL x W x H – 22.8 x 14.7 x 1.6 centimeters

Other features of the Vanquisher ultra-rugged Android tablet

  • Ultra rugged construction and IP67 waterproof
  • Scratch-resistant and gorilla panel for exceptional durability

Samsung Galaxy Tab Active Pro rugged Android tablet

Specifications:

CPU speed1GHz, 1.7GHz
Size (main screen)10.1 “(255.4 mm)
Rear camera – resolution13.0 MP
Weight (g)653

Other features of the Samsung Galaxy Tab Active Pro rugged Android tablet

  • Robust design
  • IP68 water and dust-resistant certification
  • Shockproof design with protective caseStylus included
  • Replaceable battery with long operating time (15h)

Now all you need is the perfect and most fully-featured mobile data collection app to use with your rugged Android tablet.

Luckily, we at Coral have got you covered with the Coral Collect mobile data collection app!

You can use it to create and fill out forms in the field, view and export data on a dashboard and much more! You can find out more about Coral Collect by watching this video.

Let us know if you have any questions. Looking forward to the next one!

What are the end products that can be obtained from a field data collector?

Field data collection apps provide users with the ability to produce detailed data reports. Ideally, this is to be done as quickly as possible and with the minimum of manipulation on the user’s end.

To provide a practical illustration of their use, let’s discuss the problems of the following working professionals:

  • Michelle is a 43-year-old Field Operations Manager who oversees a team of field workers. She is always on the lookout for versatile ways to increase her team’s efficiency.
  • Jonathan is a 33-year-old maintenance technician who works in one of the world’s most complex water management systems. He sometimes feels that his technological tools do not completely suit his needs.
  • Greg is a 49-year-old VP of operations and technical metering. He is looking for tools that can increase the accuracy of his team’s reports on field infrastructure.

While their careers and level of seniority differ, these individuals all share problems caused by inefficient data collection methods. Each would benefit from the tools in Coral Collect’s mobile data collector, including:

  • The ability to organize and modify data in numerous ways.
  • Access to georeferenced surveys of all the locations one has visited.
  • A wide variety of export and data synchronization tools.

Organizational Tools

A highly customizable mobile forms app allows one to set parameters for data input and adjust as needed. One can view, sort, and modify their data in various ways via an online tabular format.

Another key point concerns the fact that in modern work environments, field forms often need to be digitized. Handwritten notes are often disposed of after they are inputted. Thus, our data collection app’s ability to automatically transcribe into a database various forms of data would reduce a workflow inefficiency.

Location Tracking and maps

The data collection teams have access, though the app, to their location in real time, which greatly facilitates their orientation in the field. In addition, users of the Coral Collect app will have access through the web, from anywhere, a map that displays all the georeferenced surveys that you have collected. A color code and filters also allow you to visualize this data on the map according to the desired themes. This eliminates the often-redundant task of tracking one’s location in addition to the corresponding data.

Create maps 

Coral Collect users, like Michelle, will be able, once the field data is collected, to create PDF reports automatically that will be shared with their supervisor and clients.

Exporting the Data

One of the biggest advantages of a data collector is the ability to integrate the collected data into Geographic Information Systems (GIS). Through an export in shapefile and GeoJSON, geomatics specialists will be able to export and use this data in their GIS software to rework them later.

In addition to GIS app support, Coral Collect is built to maximize ease of use, allowing workers to collect data offline and synchronize them at a later point. It also allows users to export data in Excel, CSV, and PDF formats.

Conclusion

Presently, not all data collectors offer the possibility of producing these final outputs. The value of a data collection solution for Greg, Michelle and Jonathan is assessed based on the results it can produce and the problems it can solved. Coral Collect is a tool that meets all the above criteria and will easily adapt to your workflow.

Curious? Start using Coral Collect for free.

The Digital Shift and the Health Crisis

The advent of the Covid-19 health crisis and its vast global impact on business has rendered many traditional working methods utterly obsolete.
Concepts like working in confined offices and shopping in physical locations have ceased to be relevant in the new normal.
Giving this radical change in how we live our lives, it is unsurprising that companies have had to adapt and transform rapidly. The current health crisis is now a primary driver of a significant digital shift.
While some companies have embraced this digital shift, others are still behind the curve and must now rush to adapt or risk being swallowed up by the impact of Covid-19 on the economy.

While Covid-19 is the catalyst for this sudden digital shift, the effects of such a transformation will continue well beyond the current health crisis.

Businesses’ success or failure during this transitional time will define not only their “new normal” but also their future.

A successful digital shift can be broken down into three principal elements:

Throughout this article, we will demonstrate these elements, and their connected benefits, through the use of a specific use case: data collection methods in the field.

Digitization

The old way of collecting data with paper forms is slowed down by government restrictions of social distancing which therefore has forced businesses into rapid digitization.

Digital technologies, like cloud computing and videoconferencing, have become an integral part of current business infrastructure.

Field data collection applications are an excellent example of this trend. The use of pen and paper field forms has gone from just time-consuming and error-prone to a potential viral vector because it involves going back and forth to the office to share the data and meet with people in charge of the data transcription in the database.

Those data collection companies who have switched to mobile data collection using a field data collection app are already reaping the benefits.

Lowered costs, increased data accuracy, and reduced physical contact levels between employees are giving companies that have embraced the digital shift a significant competitive edge and a safer workplace.

Collaboration

With the new normal significantly reducing opportunities for physical encounters, the need for digital collaboration between teams has never been more critical.

Successful companies will find digital collaboration mechanisms that increase overall efficiency. Redesign the working method used during field operations will be a crucial subject of transformation.

Survey data collection is often a siloed activity, reducing opportunities for collaboration.

The use of a data collection app allows employees to collect and share data without the need for physical interaction. In conclusion, a data collection tool increases collaboration within a team.

Change Management after the digital shift

As critical as a rapid digital shift is to a business’s chances of survival post-Covid-19, a disorderly technological change without a logical roadmap is a recipe for disaster.

Rather than a piecemeal approach, integrating the right technologies at the right time is the key to optimizing a business’s operations at all levels, including:

  • The data collector in the field – more efficient and exposed to less risk
  • Field team supervisor – able to access up to the real time data
  • Management – empowered by accurate data to make better decisions faster

Specific digital forms are created with a mobile form builder then filled with a mobile forms app.

This might seem like a small change, but standardized forms are more accessible and easier to analyze, while the use of data collection apps is safer and more efficient because the data flow is automated which avoids any human interaction during the process.

By embracing digitization, enhancing collaboration, and implementing targeted change management, companies can turn the obstacles of the new normal into opportunities for success in the future.

Sharing Field Data in Real Time

One of the problems with past field data collection methods was the lag in sharing data with stakeholders. Consequently, manual data collection could create costly errors and delays for businesses.

However, times have changed. Field data collection software and GIS apps have streamlined the process and made sharing data easier and faster than ever before.

Coral Collect is one such field survey app. With it, you can share a field data collection form with a single click, enhancing the data collection process for all involved. Stakeholders like customers and managers can then make better and faster decisions with the collected information.

Benefits of real-time data sharing with Coral Collect

Data collection is a recurring activity. The goal is to collect the right data, in the right format, and to share it quickly with stakeholders. These stakeholders depend on the field data and need to view the most up-to-date information at any given time.

Because the Coral Collect system synchronizes with a cloud service, the information can be viewed or exported anywhere and in real time by customers or managers with access to the data collection platform. Thus, users can view the data automatically on a web map or export the data and view it in a preferred software (QGIS, for example).

Everyone who has access to the data can retrieve it in various formats such as CSV, Shapefile, GeoJSON, Excel, or PDF. Or, users can view them on an online map.

You can invite clients or customers to view the information at any time. Having easy access to data in multiple formats enables more advanced uses of this information in real time.

How to share your real-time data with Coral Collect

Follow these steps to create an account and share your important data in real time with stakeholders.

  1. Create a Coral Collect account at api.chacc.tech
  2. Create a new project
    • Press the “+” button in the “My projects” section. All the information collected in the field will be compiled here. You can create multiple projects for different operations.
  3. Create field forms
    • Access the mobile form builder by pressing the “+” button in the “Forms” section to create digital forms
    • For a detailed explanation, you can watch this video
  4. Apply permissions

This part is necessary to ensure all stakeholders can intervene on the project as you wish. This is the recommended way to get started:

  • In Organization click on “Teams”
  • Click on the “Collector” group
  • Check the “Show” and “Change” boxes next to the project you just created
  • Check the “Show” box next to the form you just created

To then let stakeholders of your choice view real-time project data and download the data collection forms:

  • Go back to “Teams”
  • Click on “Guest”
  • Check the “Show” and “Export” boxes next to the project you just created
  1. Invite your stakeholders (they will receive an invitation email)
    • Go to “Organization”
    • Click on “members”
    • Click on “+” and enter the email address of all the stakeholders you wish to invite
    • Choose which group of permissions you will place them in based on if they are clients or data collectors
  2. Collect your data and visualize it in real time
    • Open the inspection app and start collecting data in the field
    • You can watch a video that shows you how to collect the data in the field with Coral Collect
    • As your teams collect data, they will be visible in the Project tab when they sync their device.
  3. Export data (optional)
    • In the “My projects” tab, select the project with the data you want to recover
    • Click on the export button at the top right
    • Select “Data”
    • Choose the format you want

Survey data collection of the past was a time-consuming process. From going out into the field, taking pictures, writing paper forms, to entering them into a computer, a lot could go wrong.

Thanks to solutions like Coral Collect’s, these processes are quicker, easier, and produce fewer errors. You can collect, save, and share data in the field in a collaborative way. Furthermore, all levels of the organization including the technicians, analysts, and managers can be involved in field data management.

How to Collect Data Offline: Traditional vs Modern Method

Data collection is necessary for companies that need to get up-to-date information on the state of the situation on the ground. This data is essential for making informed decisions. Collect data offline or with a limited access to the internet while in the field is the biggest issue for companies. Survey data collection is already a monotonous and tedious task. Its difficulty becomes compounded when that task isn’t automated with field data collection software.

For companies working in the field, there are two methods of collecting data offline:

Traditional Method: Paper

The traditional method to collect data in general is via paper forms. Paper was for a long time the best way to collect and store field form data.

Pros:

  • Individuals can fill out paper forms anywhere, at any time.
  • No training is needed

Cons:

  • Time consuming so expensive
  • Takes up a large amount of physical space.
  • Unreliable.
  • Difficult to organize.
  • Difficult to scale.

Modern Method: Digital

The digitization of work processes across the board has led to a fundamental shift in how we collect data. Data collection tools automate the entire process of data collection.

The following tools typically fall within data collection apps:

  • Mobile forms apps
  • Field data collection apps
  • GIS apps

Since digital field data collection is much faster, offline collection functionality has become essential.

Pros:

  • Cost efficient.
  • Takes up no physical space.
  • Reliable.
  • Scalable.

Cons:

  • For businesses using offline data collection apps for the first time, requires some adaptation time.

Collect Data Offline: How it Works

Mobile data collection apps connect to a cloud where it stores and synchronizes data. This requires an internet connection. In cases where the internet is poor or unavailable, the synchronization speed slows to a halt.

Offline data collection apps synchronize data from the cloud before the data collection operatin. Data is then available on the app without the use of the internet.

Individuals should follow these steps when in the field:

●  Before going into the field, individuals need to synchronize their device with their database. Without the internet, we can’t have up-to-date information.

●  Then he or she collects data in offline mode with field forms. It’s stored locally.

●  Upon returning from the field, or when an internet connection is available, data synchronization can occur.

Offline data collection, with the right application, is simple and fun to use. Long gone are the tedious days of printing, filling, and organizing reams of paper. Now is the digital era, where data is fully automated and always accessible.

Collect Data Offline: How to Get Started

Coral Collect is the best way to fully automate offline data collection. It allows users to collaborate on data through sharing, collecting and saving information in the field. For those who still use paper documents, trying to organize their way out, Coral Collect is the solution.

Users can use this solution to:

●  Create digital forms tailored to their business.

●  Fill out data collection forms in the field.

●  Export data to a a database. This data is instantly accessible on a web dashboard where users can view it at any time.

Get more information on signing up and pricing for Coral Collect!

Or start using Coral Collect today!

I collect data in the field with my good old paper form

We often hear people saying, “I collect data in the field with my good old paper form. I have always done it that way and it works great.”

The accessibility, low cost and the fact that the use of paper forms does not require any special training are undeniable. However, the simplicity of using pen and paper when doing field surveys does not necessarily mean that this is the best or most effective way of getting things done.

If you are serious about improving your work processes and increasing your productivity, here are the 3 top reasons why using paper forms is no longer the best solution when compared with field data collection apps.

1. Communication delays

During field operations, communication between field workers and the office is one of the fundamental factors that determine efficiency. In the case of paper forms, it is necessary for field workers to first return to the office in order to share their data before it can be analyzed.

2. Transcription errors

Another element which comes into play when using paper forms for field work is the fact that data collected has to be manually entered into a database once it has been returned to the office. This process can be both time consuming as well as inaccurate and any field technician that had to do this will know how tedious it can be!

Other potential problems that can arise when paper forms are used for field surveys are:

  • data entry errors
  • incomplete forms
  • lost or damaged forms
  • forgotten forms that are never processed

3. Messy Workflow

An organised and efficient workflow is difficult to achieve when using paper forms for field work. This can quickly lead to unwieldy and burdensome processes.

The key to overcoming the above and other problems is the standardisation and automation of data collection in the field.

The answer – Coral Collect

A perfect solution to avoid the inefficiency and errors that often occur with paper form surveys is to use a data collection app.

Coral Collect makes data collection in the field a simple, efficient and streamlined process. With Coral Collect, you can now fill out forms digitally on a tablet or even your phone. You can then send your data directly to the database without having to go through the additional process of entering it into a database manually.

Coral Collect’s ultra streamlined process thus means that much of the tedious and error-prone work that is necessary with traditional paper form surveys in the field is fully automated in addition to the fact that errors can be drastically reduced.

Other features that Coral Collect offers:

  • Add media and photos to your data
  • Automatically capture the geographic position at which your data was collected
  • You can completely avoid transcription and manual data input errors
  • Your data’s format is standardised, meaning that it is easier to analyze

Get Coral Collect for free now and see for yourself how much more you can accomplish with a field data collection app!

Field Data Collection, What is it?

For almost all domains, you need data to improve it, whether that is researching data to grow a business, or creating an AI that can only be fed on data collection.

There are all kinds of data collection, and today, we’re going to show you everything you need to know about field data collection.

Let’s take a look!

What is field data collection?

Field data collection is the process of gathering data in person at ground level or remotely (aerial data capture), in a specifically chosen physical location or environment.

There are different types of companies in several industries that collect field data. We’ve gathered just a few to better explain why field data collection is important.

  • Companies in the agricultural sector that monitor crops or manage pests.
  • Construction and engineering companies that inspect buildings or ensure the health and safety of their employees on construction sites.
  • Environmental companies that inspect shoreline pollution or soil and borehole sampling.
  • Telecommunications companies that do pole inspections.
  • Municipalities that carry out road sign inspections or road surface control.
  • Electrical companies that need to collect data on environment to implement their services.

On-site data collection is extremely important. It allows companies to provide their services to the public, while having the necessary information to make smart decisions.

How to collect data

There are old and modern ways to collect data in the field, either through paper forms or specific software, but the most important thing is to collect that data with accuracy and transcribe it to your database rapidly.

One of the most used ways to collect data nowadays is through mobile apps that easily automate the process and allows to create reports, databases, etc.

There are many apps that help, such as Coral Collect. They allow researchers to create powerful mobile forms, collect qualitative and quantitative data, and visualize it with just a tap of the finger.

Different types of data collection

There are several different purposes to collect data on-site, from inspections to checklists, which allow researchers to create an organized system to process the field data, make it easier to read and, of course, compile it for reference.

Here are the different types of data collection you will find on the field:

·  Investigations: An investigation is an operation that aims to obtain information for the resolution of problems. (a formal or systematic examination or research)

·  Inspections: An inspection is carried out to examine or control an infrastructure or an area to know its current state. 

·  Assessments: An assessment is used to determine the importance, size, scale, or value of something. For example: A damage assessment can collect data on the extent of property damage caused by a natural disaster, such as a hurricane, tornado, or earthquake.

·  Inventories: Identify the stock to check that everything is in order.

·  Checklists: A checklist is simply a list of things to do or check. For example: A jobsite safety checklist will collect data to ensure that a jobsite meets the safety standard.

Data compilation and analysis

After collection your data, the next step is to compile it and, ultimately, analyze it. If you use a data collection application, the compilation is automatically done, but what format do you want to analyze your data and in what dimension is the real question.

Different formats allow you to view your data differently, in a georeferenced or tabular way, and even allow you to create pdf reports. Here are the most popular formats used by field data collection solutions and their correspondence in terms of analysis:

  • Georeferenced or so-called “spatial” analysis: Shapefile, Geojson, KMZ
  • Tabular analysis: CSV or Excel
  • Reports: PDF

In Short

Data collection is essential for companies and industries to work, as well as for technology and innovation continuing to grow. There are many ways to collect data, as well as analyze it, different software or apps you can use to facilitate the process, but overall what’s important is what is done with the data and the impact it brings to the world and its population.

Working with Geospatial Data! A Mystery for Neophytes

Geospatial data technologies such as geographic information systems (GIS) and geomatics sound like futuristic elements that are inaccessible to ordinary people, but individuals use these technologies every day.

For example, when we use car GPS to plan a family road trip or figure out where the closest takeout restaurant is, we rely on geospatial data.

Tasks that require knowing the location of an individual or object on the planet use geospatial technologies to record and transmit that data.

Chaac Technologies and Geospatial Data

As experts in the domain of geospatial technology, we at Chaac Technologies specialize in managing data. Originally, our expertise comes from dealing with data when it’s most critical: during environmental emergencies.

From oil spills to forest fires, geospatial data is necessary in regions where data position is crucial. Our mission is to democratize the acquisition, processing, and sharing of field data with the most relevant tools by creating a technological ecosystem with geomatics and geospatial data.

The individuals who work with field data collection software are generally neophytes in the field of geomatics. That is why we want to provide those exceptional workers with the necessary tools to collect, export, and locate that data on a map.

What are Geomatics, GIS, and GPS?

Where geospatial data involves object placement in areas (-spatial) on Earth (geo-), geomatics is the automation of geographical data. The root “matics,” also found in words like schematics or automatic, comes from computer science and represents geographical data processing.

Geographic information systems (GIS) acquire, store, examine and refine geospatial data using geomatic applications. Despite the scarcity of public knowledge on GIS apps, over 80 percent of the world is encompassed in geospatial data, and more is accumulating every day.

How Does GIS Technology Affect Data Applications?

GIS and geomatics perform a wide array of processes to provide accurate geospatial information as quickly as possible. We will cover the following terms in this article:

  • Data Gathering
  • Processing of Georeferenced data
  • Exporting Formats

Data Gathering

There are many GIS tools for us to utilize. For those who work in the field to collect critical data for their area of expertise, geographic data is imperative to understand and visualize trends in the data.

Trends in data are essential to making informed and empowering decisions, such as evaluating the condition of telecommunication poles, observing the location and level of shorelines contamination during oil spills, or simply going door to door to collect donations.

When gathering data, two key components are necessary: the data’s geographical position and descriptive information associated with that data. The data collection can proceed in two ways.

Outdated Data Collection Tools

The outdated data collection method uses paper data collection forms, GPS, and a camera. This method requires exorbitant resources and hours spent preparing, filling out, and re-transcribing data in a database from the paper forms.

Efficient Data Collection

Field data collection apps, such as Coral Collect, which specializes in collecting and managing georeferenced data in field forms, require a smart device. With a phone or tablet containing the data application, mobile forms can be prepared and shared with the team before entering the field.

This data is then uploaded with a picture, description, geospatial location and synchronized in real-time. For offline data collection, individuals can upload the forms to a cloud at the end of the day.

Processing of Georeferenced Data

In the days of paper, processing georeferenced data involved coordinating all the data at the end of the day with the team, often becoming a confusing and laborious task.

With apps like Coral Collect, individuals can process data in real-time with an internet connection, where it is available in the application dashboard whenever needed. Data can be exported or viewed at any time.

Understanding the Export Formats

There are several export formats for geospatial data, such as comma-separated values (CSV) or Shapefile. While these files are somewhat abstract, their main advantage is that they contain GPS information in a ready format for immediate display of the data on a geographical map.

Conclusion

At Chaac technologies, we want data applications to do the busy work so that you can focus on the work that matters. So, if you’re ready to start collecting data in the field, head to our registration page!

5 Data Security Factors to Consider When Evaluating Your Next Software as a Service (SaaS) Provider

The explosion of the Internet of Things (IoT) and the digitization of field operations by companies of all sizes continues to cause serious considerations for cybersecurity, data management, and data security. Is your Software as a Service (SaaS) provider securing your data properly? You need to know.

“92% of surveyed enterprises mostly commonly used software as a service for office automation, IT,-services support, and niche business applications.[1]” — McKinsey & Company

As field technicians or field operations managers, you’re looking for solutions to collect field data more effectively with mobile forms or remote applications. Perhaps, you’re on the lookout for software tools that improve the data collection performance of teams that work outside your corporate network.

How prepared is your company related to data security [2]?

●  48% of businesses can’t detect if their IoT devices suffered a breach.

●  41% do not encrypt all of their data.

●  35% do not have a cyber-security expert in their organization.

Your operations may start to get complex pretty quickly when you need to consider your security, the data security of your SaaS providers, and cybersecurity readiness of your customers. The following post outlines 5 data security factors to consider:

Factor 1. Is your SaaS Provider secure?

As you expand your operations, your infrastructure, or use field data collection tools that extend beyond your company firewalls, you need to consider the data security of your SaaS provider. How do you know if they are taking the right precautions?

●  Infrastructure and networks – look for documentation, procedures, and tools to fully account for possible breaches in the security.

●  Applications and software – better understand how your SaaS provider accounts for their application usage and how they manage their tools.

Factor 2. Are your operations secure?

It is one thing to ask for guarantees against security threats caused by your SaaS provider, but you may need to review your own operations as well.

●  IT resource accounting – knowing where every laptop, smart phone, or IP enabled device is across your entire organization is challenging. A security opening in one of your devices could exploit the entire system.

SaaS providers can help monitor these threats. A good practice is fully accounting for all your devices.

Factor 3. Is your data secure?

Ensuring your data is secure involves the close coordination of your security operations and an understanding of how your SaaS provider manages their data security. Be proactive and ask your SaaS provider about:

●  Access control for different users or entities that must access their platform. Do they have tight controls and ways to monitor activity?

●  Device management within their cloud software, mobile applications, or data collection services that may run from handheld devices.

●  Data encryption and how information may flow from your devices, via the Internet, and over to your SaaS infrastructure. Do they properly encrypt all traffic?

Factor 4. Are your customers secure?

Most likely you work directly with a SaaS provider. What happens if the software as a service you are using is for your customer? Perhaps, you’re hired to digitize the data collection across an industrial facility.

●  Identity management becomes even more important with stricter controls on the devices in use across the environments.

●  Customer educating is a good idea. Let them know ahead of time how your field operations are set up if they may introduce something into their infrastructure. A heads up about additional bandwidth usage is an example.

Factor 5. Can you verify data security?

Getting a cybersecurity firm involved is also a good idea. An independent third party will perform audits, simulate intrusion attacks, or look for vulnerabilities in areas where neither you, your SaaS provider, nor even your end customer has thought to look.

Security firms are aware of and certified in the latest security standards or protocols, able to run security audits across devices, infrastructure, software, or applications, and they can continuously monitor for suspicious activities.

Creating, Collecting, and Making Sense of Your Field Data with Coral Collect

Leverage a solution that allows you to collect, save, and share data in the field in a collaborative way. Drop your paper forms and save time collecting data, accurately, efficiently, and securely. Get all levels of your organization involved in the management of your data inside your organization and across your SaaS partners.

What to learn more? If you want to reduce data collection errors in the field, and boost efficiency and productivity, contact us today to learn more about how the Coral Collect can help your business!