Five questions to ask before choosing a field data collection application

Gone are the days of filling out paper forms with a pen and having to manually transcribe information into a database.
It’s time to start using digital forms with mobile data collection apps if you want your organization to remain competitive. But before you invest in one, you need to find the right one for your needs.

What is the right solution for your business?

Here are 5 questions you need to ask yourself to find the right one for you.

1. Do you collect data in areas where there is no internet access?

You should know whether you will have access to the internet in the location where you will be using your data collection app. If you will be working in a location that does have internet access, you should find out how reliable it is?

If you will be collecting data in an urban environment, cellular internet service will likely be available, but if you are in a rural area, you will need software that can work offline.

Therefore, you can exclude all software solutions that require access to a web browser to work in the field.

You will need to choose a mobile form solution that can store the data you collect locally on your device and synchronize it with the cloud when you reconnect to the internet.

2. Is location important to you?

Do you need to capture the geographic position of your field surveys?

Can the geographic location of your statements help you? Most likely it can.

Therefore, you should exclude solutions that do not feature a map interface or that do not allow the collection of georeferenced data.

On the other hand, some of these solutions will only allow you to capture and record the current position of the field data collector. Make sure, for more flexibility, that you can define the position of your reading on a map yourself, especially since the GPS of smartphones is not always very precise.

For a solution that has all these features, check out the Coral Collect app.

3. How easy is it to import and export data

It is important to verify that the solution you choose is flexible when entering and extracting your data.

You should also carefully consider the formats for exporting and recovering your data, as well as the ease with which you can import data.

Will you need to import existing data for viewing and editing in the field? If so, you should pay special attention to how easy it is to import and export your data.

Most software allows you to export data in standard formats.

The same applies to media: Find out how the software manages and stores the media you collect in the field. If you collect a lot of photos in the field, the price may vary depending on the amount of storage you require.

4. What is the level of support?

Support is undoubtedly a decisive added value when choosing new software. Technical support will be essential during the process of integrating the software into your business.

Check the following when it comes to the vendor’s app support:

  • Response time
  • Mode of communication
  • Cost

5. Can you try it before you buy it?

Use a checklist to determine which features you will need for your field data collection projects.

Once you have compared the features of the apps you are interested in, feel free to sign up for a trial if the data collection app you are considering offers one.

You should avoid software solutions that do not offer free trials. Trial versions will help you decide which solutions are right for you.

Once you have chosen a data collection app, here are some steps that you can follow to help make your transition to digital data collection as smooth as possible.

  • Recreate existing paper forms that you are currently using in your organization
  • Collect data
  • Import existing data
  • Export your data in different formats
  • Create reports

After these tests, you will be able to assess the effectiveness of the tested solutions and be able to choose the one that is right for you.

Best choice in data collection

Our best recommendation is the Coral Collect data collection app. The Coral Collect app provides all the features necessary for field data collection in addition to excellent support and a free full version.

Check out the Coral Collect app and feel free to contact the Coral support service if you have any questions.

Historical data as an asset

Historical data can be of significant value to your business and can save both time and money insofar as it can be reused. However, problems can arise when trying to access historical data that was stored in old or deprecated file formats, or accessibility of historical data was restricted to specific individuals or departments.

Read on to find out more about how historical data can be leveraged to give your business an edge.

Data collection – old vs. new methods

Historical data is data that was collected in the past, and therefore already exists within a company.

In the past, field data was collected using paper and pencil. It was used and eventually stored in binders or archived in boxes. In many cases this data was never used again.

With today’s digital data collection and storage tools, the process is the same, but the method is different: Instead of physical binders, we now use apps to collect data and databases to store it.

Many organizations do not use historical data at all in their operations. As a result, sometimes identical data is collected more than once. The recollection of identical data costs money and does not provide any real benefit.

Accessing historical data

Once data has been used, it is stored and often forgotten, probably because no one sees its value in the short term.

Data is your business’s memory, and it is of great value. It is a shame that this data too often remains hidden and unused.

Therefore, reusing existing historical data can be of great benefit to your business in terms of both cost savings as well as efficiency. On the other hand, the use of historical data can present a few problems:

  • File formats and versions: Are current tools able to read old data?
  • Access: Where is your data stored or published? Is it possible to access historical data archives easily?
  • Valuable vs. redundant data: What is the useful information contained within the gigabytes of historical data?

These issues must be considered from the start when designing data architectures that will be used to store data collected in the field. Having a future-proof data architecture can make it easier for you or future colleagues to access historical data later on.

Let us examine these issues in more detail.

Accessibility

Formats and compatibility

Accessing historical data presents a problem when it has been stored in formats which are no longer supported.

Companies have huge amounts of historical business data locked away in formats that no one can open any more. Indeed, it is not always easy to predict which file formats will be commonly used in the future. For example, in the past it was not known that Excel would dominate the spreadsheet market.

It is therefore important to use open standards, such as CSV or JSON, when choosing formats for long-term archiving.

It is also a good practice to update your data formats periodically. For example, Lotus 123 formats are always convertible (albeit after a laborious process) into excel databases.

Storing data efficiently and in supported formats is thus essential. For example, the Access format will soon be deprecated, so it is important to find an alternative to this file format as soon as possible.

Restrictions and ease of access to historical data

Is access to your historical data restricted to certain people or departments? If so, you will need to review your data security policies when storing collected data in the field so that you can access it more easily.

In conclusion, here are some points to bear in mind with regard to historical data:

  • Do not underestimate the value of your historical data.
  • Before collecting data in the field, check whether any of it already exists.
  • Use data file formats that will be easily accessible in the future.

Improve the efficiency of field operations and data quality

Quality assurance (QA) in data collection is the process of maintaining a standard of quality and preventing errors in the data that is collected in the field. You can continually improve and control the way data is collected in the field by applying customized quality assurance requirements. Using the right tools will also increase your efficiency.

In traditional field data collection cycles, the typical workflow is as follows:

1. Field staff are trained to follow the data collection process.

2. Data is collected in the field.

3. The collected field data are transcribed into a database at the office.

4. The results are analyzed.

5. Reports are produced.

6. Decisions are made on what actions to take.

What are the steps that can improve efficiency and productivity?

By using Coral Collect, a mobile field data collection app, you already eliminate most of the data processing that takes place in the office. Indeed, Coral Collect automates the process of transcribing your field data to a database and producing reports.

You should take the time necessary to define the objectives of the field operation, to design your data collection form and to choose the right data collection and management tools. This time will be well invested because it will make the difference between a good data collection versus a poorly planned operation. Indeed, decisions that are made on the basis of information obtained from the field can have a significant impact on your organization.

Here are some additional tips to improve the efficiency of data collection:

Conditional logic rules

Coral Collect allows you to configure conditional logic rules for each of your form’s fields, depending on your data collection needs.

This means that the fields in your forms can be configured to be dynamically visible, depending on the values ​​entered in other fields. Using conditional logic is a very intuitive and easy-to-use feature.

Consider the advantages of using conditional logic early in the design phase to create the most suitable form to meet your needs.

Datasets defined in advance

Coral Collect allows you to configure datasets in advance. These datasets will then automatically display in your form based on certain recurring situations.

This means that, depending on certain situations, a large part of your form will be completed automatically.

Example: You are carrying out inspections on standpipes. For a certain type of standpipe, the size, color, and number of valves are always the same. In cases like this, you might as well create a predefined dataset in advance. This can be done easily and quickly with Coral Collect.

Now consider how useful this dataset feature could be when planning your field operations.

Automatic completion

When you use Coral Collect  to fill out digital forms in the field, you have access to the auto-complete feature. This feature is valid for text fields and it makes it possible to duplicate the information that was entered into a field during the last inspection.

This means that with Coral Collect, there is no need to write the same answer twice in a row. 

Conditional logic, datasets, and auto-completion are all great ways to increase your efficiency in your field surveys.

Finally, the Coral Collect API makes it possible to integrate other alert and comment services, such as the creation of tasks in project management software or the automatic sending of emails when certain actions occur. These integrations will make you more efficient at collecting data and improve data quality.

Tips to improve field data quality

Here are some tips to increase the quality of your field data:

Add a “Remarks” field

Add space for general notes or comments in your form.

Adding such a field collects valuable information that would not have been taken into account otherwise. You will thus benefit from the expertise of your field staff who will enrich the data collected.

Add photo fields

Photo fields allow you to capture multimedia information that will enhance your survey documentation, thereby providing information about the condition of the observed object.
To find out more about the Coral Collect app, watch the intro video now. Head over to the signup page to get started.

Types, Methods and Data Collection Tools

Good data is essential for making good decisions.
To obtain accurate and useful data, you need the right tools, as well as reliable and appropriate collection methods.

What is field data collection?

Field data collection aims to gather information that makes it possible to assess the state of a situation in the field.

A proper data collection process is very helpful in identifying problems in the field and implementing the right solutions to resolve them.

Different types of data

Before talking about data collection methods, we need to look at two types of data:

  • Qualitative data
  • Quantitative data

Before you start collecting data, you need to first determine whether you want (or need) to collect qualitative, quantitative, or mixed data.

Collection of quantitative vs qualitative data

Quantitative data collection aims to collect numerical data (quantities and types, etc.).

Qualitative research, on the other hand, is generally used to obtain opinions on certain subjects, or provide further clarification through open-ended questions.

Quantitative data

The first step in the quantitative research process is to determine your sampling method.

Quantitative data should represent well-defined events such as a counting method, questions with answer choices and yes/no questions etc.

Qualitative data

Qualitative data is often used in exploratory research to understand dormant reasons, opinions, and motivations in given situations. It also provides detailed information about specific problems. Qualitative data collection methods examine the reasons for making specific decisions.

There is no one “best” method of collecting data.

Each method has its own advantages and disadvantages. Your choice will depend on the type of data you need to collect (i.e. qualitative data or quantitative data) and the advantages as well as disadvantages of each method relative to your purpose and analysis.

Methods of data collection

Qualitative research methods

In-depth interviews

Through in-depth interviews, you can retrieve as much information as possible by asking people to answer open-ended questions.

Face-to-face interviews can be long and expensive, but they have a very high response rate.

With face-to-face interviews, you can establish rapport with respondents and have the opportunity to clarify their answers.

Advanced observations

Experts can carry out advanced observations and provide comments by means of which they can share their expertise. This can be useful when assessing the information gathered.

Quantitative research methods

Surveys with closed questions

Survey questions can be conducted by means of survey questionnaires.

The questionnaires themselves should be structured and standardized in order to make it easy for people to answer them and minimize the chances of inaccurate or useless data being collected.

Tests or experiments

Another way in which quantitative data can be collected is by means of measuring the number of people who passed a test or answered a question (or set of questions) correctly.

When conducting tests or experiments, it is important to make sure that you write down all the information, such as age, job category, level of education, etc., about who is taking the test.

Polls

Conducting online polls is another method that can be effective when gathering data. Polls can be conducted online, over the phone or in person. Telephone surveys are cost effective and take less time than face to face interviews. However, the response rate of telephone polls is lower.

Online surveys are inexpensive and can be sent to large numbers of people. Although it is impossible to have the answers clarified, this is not a problem if quantitative data is desired.

Observing, counting, and recording well-defined events

This is a straightforward method that can be used when the numbers of certain events or items need to be determined.

For example, counting the number of vehicles on a road can be a sufficiently accurate way to collect this type of data.

Data collection Tools

Field data can and is collected in a number of different ways.

Paper questionnaires

Paper questionnaires are a traditional means of data collection.

Although this method is still quite common despite the fact that powerful technology and apps, such as Coral Collect, are very accessible to companies today, it is quickly disappearing.

The reason for the decline in popularity of this method is that the response rate, as well as accuracy of data collected by means of paper questionnaires, is much lower than with apps, which generally have mandatory response fields.

Online questionnaires 

Another medium is Internet questionnaires / online surveys, which are cheaper and faster than paper questionnaires.

The problem with this method is that it can only be conducted on people who have access to computers and the Internet. Nevertheless, online surveys are a great way to reach and engage with your target audience as they increase response rates quickly. With online questionnaires, you can generate real-time results for quick and easy analysis.

Mobile app data collection

Finally, another medium is mobile data collection applications.

With mobile data collection apps, you spend less time collecting and entering data, errors are drastically reduced, and you can collect rich data types such as photos, videos, GPS coordinates, etc.

Today, mobile apps are an increasingly popular means of data collection because they offer innovative ways to collect and manage data. Mobile surveys are also easy to administer and more versatile than online surveys, as they allow respondents to send photos, record their voices or take notes using their smartphones.

In conclusion

In today’s increasingly competitive world of digital data collection, instantaneous data transfer and cloud computing, it is essential that you have access to the best technology and methods available on the market.

It’s up to you to choose the right type of data, the right methods and ultimately the right means of data collection, depending on the objectives you are pursuing.

Coral Collect is the leader when it comes to mobile field data collection apps. The app comes with the following features:

  • Easy digital form creation with the Coral Collect online form builder
  • The ability to fill out forms in the field on your Android and iOS device.
  • A comprehensive data overview via the simple and easy-to-use dashboard
  • The ability to export data in different formats, including PDF

Give yourself that competitive edge by heading over to the Coral Collect product page right now. You can find out more about Coral Collect by watching this video.

Get Coral Collect now!

Collection apps vs Google forms

If you are looking for a practical and simple way to replace paper forms with a digital solution, this article is for you.
Depending on the type of field operations you conduct, you may have to collect complex data – often without access to an internet connection.
The modern way to handle data collection is via mobile applications (or “apps”). Mobile apps, such as Coral Collect, generally offer more specialized features and are aimed specifically at meeting the needs of engineers, technicians, biologists, analysts, and other types of specialists working in the field.
Google Forms is a simple tool that can be used to enter questions that can then be filled out remotely later.

Mobile applications vs Google Forms

Basic functionalities

The basic functionalities of mobile applications and Google Forms respectively vary since as they are generally designed with emphasis on different use case scenarios.

Whereas mobile apps are generally designed with specific use cases or applications in mind like inspections, Google Forms offers a suite of tools similar to those of Microsoft Office (word documents, spreadsheets, and presentation tools), which are aimed at fulfilling a variety of different needs like surveys, events subscription or mobile observations, but are not geared to being particularly good at anything specific.

For data collection in the field during engineering projects or sample collecting operations, it is often necessary to create forms with GPS coordinates and other metadata included. In such cases, mobile apps are often more suitable for the task.

The table below compares some of the features that mobile applications include (we are using Coral Collect as an example) to those that are offered by Google Forms.

Mobile applications (e.g. Coral Collect )Google Forms

Create digital forms
Fill out forms in the field
View and export data on a dashboard
Suite of online tools (word documents, spreadsheets, presentations, etc.) only accessible via Google Account

Data collection

Although Google Forms are commonly used during data collection operations, mobile apps are often more suitable for data collection in the field, particularly for operations that take place in areas with no internet access.

Mobile applicationsGoogle Forms
Carry out precise inspections of all types of fixed assets
Map all the data collected
Create technical forms for a wide range of fields (signatures, bar codes, GPS coordinates, photos, etc.)
Effectively create surveys (because you can easily provide links to question forms)
Create event registration forms

Data analysis and report generation

With some mobile applications, specifically Coral Collect, it is also possible to visualize data and export it in various formats.

Google Forms does have some compatibility with Microsoft Office formats (.docx, .xlsx, etc.) but is designed mainly as an online tool which syncs your documents to the Google Cloud (i.e. Google Drive) and is thus not ideally suited to offline document editing and exporting.

Mobile applicationsGoogle Forms
Visualization of data by means of online maps
CSV or Excel databases
PDF reports
Georeferenced data formats (kmz, GeoJSON and Shapefile)
Survey data is available in the form of bar charts, pie charts and text.
Users cannot filter the results, but the data is automatically exported as a Google Spreadsheet.

Offline functionality

Mobile apps such as Coral Collect allow you to fill out forms offline and sync your data later.

Google Forms, on the other hand, is specifically designed as a cloud solution, meaning that you need to be connected to the internet (and via your Google Account) to use it.

Mobile applicationsGoogle Forms
Certain mobile apps, in particular Coral Collect, allow you to fill out forms even you are offlineImpossible to fill out forms when offline, which is a big disadvantage for certain activities, particularly during field work

Pricing

Whereas Google Forms is free, mobile apps usually offer different options, including paid versions, which provide improved functionality or additional features.

Mobile applicationsGoogle Forms
Generally speaking, mobile apps offer an effective, but limited, free plan (or version) as well as paid plans (or versions) that provide more powerful features and greater customizabilityCoral Collect offers a free plan with full functionality for an unlimited number of users. Free

To find out more about Coral Collect, feel free to watch this video or head over to the Coral Collect information page here.

2021 – The year to eliminate paper

Technology is changing the ways in which we live, play and work.
15 years ago, we all used paper maps to look for addresses and the phone book to find contact numbers (remember the yellow pages anyone?). These days, we use Google maps to plan all our trips and search engines to find the contact information of the nearest hairdresser, restaurant or company.

At work, the use of cloud computing and artificial intelligence is creating new ways to increase productivity.

The arrival and influence of technology is starting to take place everywhere, from education, business, office work and marketing to communications, purchasing and banking.

Integrating these new technologies into the ways we work has become an essential requisite to remaining competitive in today’s world of synchronized data and high-speed internet communications.

Digital vs paper

Consider, for example, someone who is looking for a route using a traditional map or atlas versus someone who uses GPS to find their way around. Who do you think wins? The hare or the tortoise?

Technology has had a huge impact on the paper industry too. Newspapers are increasingly published exclusively online, and every magazine, book and comic series has an online counterpart or website.

Nevertheless, despite the huge technological advancements in recent years, most businesses seem to be unsure as to how to go about digitizing their data.

Could 2021, following the global pandemic, be the year during which your company finally achieves this goal?

Motivate your employees to go paperless

One way to get the ball rolling when it comes to transitioning your company from paper to digital is to start a campaign to motivate your organization to go paperless.

You can talk about the lasting benefits and show them the advantages of how going paperless will make their jobs easier.

Once they see how much time and effort they can save by going digital, they will be more likely to become part of the change.

Use the right software

A good place to start when trying to find the right digital management systems that will help you optimize your workflow (CRM, Data Collection Application, Google Drive etc.) is to consider what your own specific use case needs are and then make a list of the tools and features you need.

Furthermore, choosing the right software and providing the necessary training on how to use it is essential for a company to become efficient. 

There are many apps and softwares that will theoretically meet your needs. You will need to do your research and compare your options before making a decision.

Coral Collect – the all-in-one data collection solution

Coral Collect is the No. 1 solution to all your data collection needs. Whether you’re an engineer, a technician, a data analyst, a project manager or an operations planner, Coral Collect has you covered.

The app comes with the following features:

  • Easy digital form creation with its online form builder.
  • Filling out forms during field work with the easy-to-use app interface.
  • Simple display and export of data via the dashboard.

To find out more about Coral Collect, you can check out this video or head over to the Coral Collect information page.

Feel free to let us know if you have any questions.

The Coral Collect Team

Challenges of managing mobile workforce in the field

The members who work in the field or remotely are referred to as a “mobile workforce”. We observe that more and more work is done remotely. It is estimated that the mobile workforce will overtake the normal workforce by 2022. It is thus very important for companies to get on board with mobile solutions that can maximize their productivity whilst at the same time ensuring that they remain competitive.

In this context, effective software solutions are essential to ensure the accuracy and integrity of data for businesses and organizations. Businesses need to make the most of the mobile work revolution.

This article identifies the challenges as well as the solutions of mobile work force management. Read on to find out more.

What is mobile workforce management?

Mobile workforce management refers to the process and systems that provide tools to help businesses manage their mobile workforces remotely.

Employees working outside the office or providing services from distant locations, often even while based in other countries, are all part of the mobile workforce. 

It is thus essential for managers of mobile workforces to have the right tools to monitor the progress of all the individual as well as group tasks that their remote workers are carrying out in real time.

Four challenges that mobile workforces will face during field work

1.   Working in hazardous environments

Employees are the most important risk factor when it comes to field operations. This is because one of the biggest challenges of mobile field work is managing the risk factor for human errors.

To solve this problem, standardized protocols and regular training, as well as the proper preparation of workers for unforeseen or dangerous situations, is necessary.

2.   Maintaining effective communication with employees

Maintaining open communication with everyone in your business can be difficult when managing a mobile workforce. Distance has an impact on communications, and it can be hard to motivate your employees and increase engagement.

It is the leader’s responsibility to realize that every interaction with his or her team has a huge impact on their individual as well as collective performance.

3.   Productivity monitoring

Managing the productivity of technicians can be a problematic task when they are not physically in the office or factory.

Some employees also tend to be less productive when their productivity is not tracked.

There are applications that allow you to track the progress of employees’ tasks. Some such applications also allow you to collect all the relevant data that is related to the field agents performing their tasks. These tools make tracking mobile productivity easier and more transparent.

4.   Lack of precision in the information captured in the field

Coordination between field technicians and operations managers can be difficult, especially if your employees transfer information gathered in the field manually. This can lead to negative consequences for the accuracy of your data.

By enabling your mobile workforce to capture data using mobile devices, you can collect accurate information and guarantee your data’s integrity.

In conclusion

The “mobile age” is taking over, and businesses are rapidly making the transition to mobile management systems and digital data tracking software to ensure that they remain competitive. This digital transformation is beneficial in terms of productivity and employee satisfaction.

Start the transition to a mobile workforce today by signing up for Coral Collect!

You can find out more about Coral Collect by checking out this video.

How to organize your field data

Time is precious in today’s high-speed business world, so you need to spend it wisely. In business, time means money and every problem needs to be resolved as quickly as possible.
If your boss asks you to find data that was collected as part of a project, you need to be able to find it and deliver it to him or her without delay. This article examines how to organize your field data in such a way that you do not waste any time finding it when you need it most.

How to organize your field data?

The answer is simple: The best way to organize your field data is with organized structures.
The names of the projects, or your data layers, must have a uniform structure (Date – Project name). It’s important to keep your files organized logically.
The best project structure is one that mimics the way you work. Navigating your folders and finding files should be intuitive. If your organizational method is illogical or messy, it will be difficult for the rest of your team to follow the structure. For business projects, choose something that works well for everyone on the team.

Efficient project structures for organizing data

The first step when organizing your data is to determine the ideal end result that you want to obtain for your data structure.
If you ever need to categorize your field data to achieve this, you will have to do so by organizing your projects into different categories based on date, type, client, etc.

You can organize your field data collection projects in 4 different ways:

  1. Organize your project data to correspond to your actual projects!
    Project names act as both keyword tags as well as extra levels of organization. If you sort your files by name, they will automatically be sorted by due date and then by project type.
  2. Organize your projects by date!
    If you organize your projects by date (YYYY/MM/DD) when sorting them, they will always be in chronological order.
  3. Organize your projects by “client”!
    Organizing your project data by client can also be a good option to find them easily.
  4. Organize your projects by type!
    Your organization may collect more than one type of data. For example, you could be collecting the following different types of data:
    1. standpipes inspection data
    2. road sign inspection data

In order to organize different types of data, as in the examples, you could create one project for all standpipe data and another for all signage data.

Tags

Instead of, or in addition to, project structures, you can also try using tags to organize your field data. The advantage of using tags to organize your data is that you can add multiple tags, such as location, customer code, collection type, etc., to a single project. You will then be able to see all projects of the same type / year / client together based on your search query. By using tags, you don’t need to have an organization diagram from the start.

Conclusion

Whether you are an engineer, a field analyst, a biologist, a technician or anyone that collects data in the field on a regular basis, organizing field data in a logical and structured way is the key to saving time, and thus money — regardless of your industry or profession.
That is why we recommend Coral Collect for all your field data collection needs. Coral Collect is the perfect tool for data collection, both online and offline.
With Coral Collect, you have access to the following features, and more, all at your fingertips!

  • Digital form creation with Coral Collect’s online form builder
  • Easy filling out of forms, regardless of whether you are in your office or in the field
  • Full overview of export data on a simple and easy-to-use dashboard
  • Easy performance analytics
  • PDF reporting and export functionality
  • Simple user management

To find out more about Coral Collect, check out the introductory video here or simply head over to the Coral Collect signup page here.

5 Advantages of API Integrations for Your Business

APIs are an integral part of any business that deals with digital service integration or data exchange. The advantages of API integrations for businesses are numerous and knowing how to use them is essential to remain efficient in today’s world of interconnected apps and services.

There are many different types of APIs, and it is usually necessary to learn the intricacies of individual APIs to be able to use them effectively. Nevertheless, APIs all share one thing in common: They are necessary to interact with or fetch data from external sources, such as other software or digital services.

An example of a service that requires API integration is Google Maps. In order to access the GPS data that Google Maps offers, the Google Maps API must be integrated into the app or site that you, as a company, are building or operate.

What is an API?

API stands for Application Programming Interface and allows two or more applications to connect to each other. Simply put, it’s the messenger that delivers your request to the provider and then sends the provider’s response back to you. An API can be thought of as the interface that allows one app to talk to another by means of simple commands.

Basically, an API works much like a power outlet, which is a standardized way for a device to access and use a pre-existing infrastructure. Think about how you use any electrical device — APIs work in the same way, except that they exchange data instead of power.

What is API integration?

API integrations allow businesses to automate tasks, thereby integrating their programs and databases with today’s industrial applications. They ensure communication between various applications and allow employees to enjoy the benefits of multiple cloud-based applications.

The 3 main advantages of using APIs

Generally speaking, the 3 main advantages of APIs can be defined as follows:

  • Ease of integration

Using an identification token provided by the solution provider, you can easily access its API and connect it with your platform, thus allowing information sharing.

  • Better integration

APIs simplify and facilitate integration, allowing different software to rearrange their interrelationships to meet your specific business needs. Externally, you can use APIs integrate your applications with third parties to optimize their functionality and improve usability.

  • Task automation

Application integration is the key to much of the automation strategies for which APIs are becoming indispensable. Integrations automate manual tasks to generate a smooth and effortless transition between linked applications.

How APIs can help your business

For businesses, the advantages of APIs can be summarized as follows:

  • They help create more personalized solutions.
  • They provide better experiences for customers without significantly increasing costs.

Conclusion

APIs are an essential component of any integration process that draws upon data coming from external or third-party sources, including services.

Without APIs, it would be impossible to leverage digital information, such as GPS data and live news feeds into existing platforms or websites, etc.

The above advantages highlight the importance of APIs in the modern business environment.