errors in data collection

7 Simple Actions to Avoid Data Collection Errors in the Field

Field data collection operations are much more complex than one might think. Accuracy and efficiency are essential if you want your business to run smoothly!

Here are 7 actions you can take to reduce the risk of errors during your field data collection process.

1.  Clearly State Your Questions

When you are designing your field forms, it is important that you clearly state each question. No amount of training can compensate for a poorly designed questionnaire! You cannot leave any ambiguity if you want the data being collected to be consistent and accurate.

Take, for example, a question like, “do you exercise regularly?” This is very vague and leaves the term regularly up for interpretation. Some may consider exercising once per week regularly, while others may view this as 3 to 5 times per week.

Instead, phrase the question like this:

“How often did you exercise last week?”

The key here is choosing closed-ended questions rather than open-ended ones!

2.  Share the Objectives of the Operation

One of the most important aspects of effective field data collection, regardless of your data collection methods, is to share the objectives of the operation.

Communication and transparency will help reduce misunderstandings on the part of the interviewer. Explain each question to the field staff and share the overall vision of the operation with them.

3.  Don’t Overwork Unnecessarily!

Avoiding overwork is essential. When possible, utilize mobile data collection applications to reduce the amount of manual work required to collect field data.

Similarly, do not set unrealistic goals for your field staff – there is no need to create unnecessary stress that could affect the quality of the results! Remember that tired employees will be less productive and make more frequent mistakes.

Giving them the right tools will help alleviate this problem!

4.  Always Prioritize Quality Over Quantity

Good data is always more valuable than the volume collected. A field survey app can help you collect higher quality information and allow you to prioritize quality over quantity.

Your survey will not be worthwhile if the data quality is poor – even if you collect mountains of data to support it.

5.  Eliminate Task Redundancy

When you are collecting data in the field, you may run into redundancy in terms of the tasks being performed. This is especially true if the data collection is performed manually.

The best way to eliminate this problem is to use a field data collection app to streamline processes. It can end the need for redundant tasks like copying paper forms into a database.

6.  Standardize Processes

When you implement standardized processes, all of your field data staff will work cohesively and effectively – allowing them to work towards the main overall goal together.

Not only does this improve the quality of the information collected, but it also makes the entire process more efficient.

7.  Promote Automation

The golden rule for field data collection efficiency – and the best way to eliminate errors – is to automate the flow of data. Utilize mobile form builders and survey data collection applications wherever possible.

There is a direct correlation between reducing the number of manual interactions needed and the reliability of your data! Likewise, technology will allow you to achieve significant cost savings when it comes to the time and resources needed to collect field data. 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!

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