Field Data Collection Software – Top 5 Solution in 2021

Field data collection software allows you to create digital forms and conduct field surveys efficiently and effectively. They generally involve a mobile app used to collect data in the field. The app transfers the data directly from the field to your database, minimizing manual work and increasing reliability.

While many of them may have similar features, the best field survey app has distinct advantages. Here are the top data collection tools for 2021:

Coral Collect

The best solution when it comes to field data collection software is Coral Collect. This platform allows your organization to collect georeferenced field data and visualize it on a cartographic web interface. There is a strong form builder that allows users to create effective digital forms across a wide variety of industries.

The data that your field technicians collect can be shared in real-time, and the goal of this GIS app is to boost collaboration across all levels of your business.

Coral Collect can also export data in many different formats, from Excel and CSV to Shapefile and Geojson. When you geotag data in the app, the information can be displayed, filtered, and visualized with color-coding options.

So, how else can Coral Collect improve your data collection processes? It also includes the following features:

  • Automatic Form Filling
  • Data Presetting
  • Easy Statement Creation

If that wasn’t enough to convince you that Coral Collect is the best field survey app, there is more! They offer a completely free plan that includes an unlimited number of users and all the features described. 

JotForm

Next on our list is the cloud based JotForm. This tool allows businesses to publish forms online, conduct effective customer surveys, and even collect payments. Other applications of this mobile form app include registering guests for events and managing applications.

JotForm excels when it comes to providing customer support and training. Their online support forum and chat ensure that their customers can use their field survey app effectively.

Fulcrum

Another data field collection application to keep your eye on is Fulcrum. Their mobile platform allows you to build custom applications that can be used to collect field data. Everything that is input into the app is geolocated and easily accessed on a visually appealing dashboard.

Fulcrum Integrates with several different systems and provides sample forms to help you get started. The major drawback, however, is that it does not allow for the collection of data in the form lines, and polygons. As a result, this is not a great option for geomatics specialists.

Pronto Forms

Pronto Forms, a platform developed for construction inspections, audits, and maintenance, is another useful field data collection application. It was designed by an Ontario company and utilizes a cartographic interface.

This tool easily integrates with Salesforce and SAP so that workflows can be automated, but you cannot test out the application for free.

Fastfield Forms

The final form app on our list is Fastfield Forms. Their data collection platform was built for construction sites and building inspections and includes tools to dispatch tasks for employees.

It comes with a 14-day trial period so that you can see how it integrates with other systems, creates dashboards, and builds dynamic forms.

Use of Personal Devices at Work: The Advantages and Disadvantages

If 2020 taught us anything, it’s that the world of work is changing. Instead of driving to the office, many people are working from home or in co-workspaces. Meetings once confined to one room are now online. These paradigm shifts have opened up a pandora’s box in the corporate world of business where employees are now requesting to use their personal devices. Whether using their own smartphones, tablets, laptops, or other portable devices, employees are now engaging in work in different ways.

In this article, we’ll breakdown the benefits and drawbacks of using personal devices in the workplace.

Advantages of Using Personal Devices

As we head into 2021, employees are opening up more about their feelings of using their own devices for work, whether it be from home, at a co-workspace, or the office. Here are some of the advantages of having employees utilize their own personal devices:

● Happier Employees – Nothing beats the familiarity of working with your own device. You know all the ins and outs of your programs, are comfortable with the keyboard, and understand how to troubleshoot any problems with your device. A study by the “social market foundation” shows that happy employees are 20% more productive.

● Productivity – According to a Forbes study, 49% of employees say they are more productive with their own devices than using company devices.

● Lower Costs – Employees using their own devices is a win-win for companies. According to a CISCO study, the average expenditure on devices for each employee is $ 3,150 per year. The cost savings over the long-term can be monumental for businesses.

● More Efficient Tools – Typically, employees are more likely to upgrade their own devices. Often, personal upgrades far exceed the technology provided by companies. In turn, employees are more efficient with their devices.

● Simplicity – Keeping tabs on one phone’s messages is much easier than juggling messages between separate devices. By merging their devices with their work, it speeds up channels of communication.

Most companies wouldn’t disagree that having happier, more productive workers while saving costs is a significant benefit to using personal devices. However, even for all its advantages, there are some drawbacks to using personal devices in the workplace.

Disadvantages of Using Personal Devices

Along with the pandemic and working from home, there have been some significant struggles that businesses have had to deal with when using personal devices for work.

Here are just a few:

  • Problems with Standardization – Let’s face it! Some people are PC people, while others are loyal to Macs. Some people swear by their iPhone while others love Android. While this is fine on a personal level, it can create some business challenges—especially when implementing new software. In order for it to work, it would have to be cross-compatible. It would also be a nightmare for IT solutions.
  • Security – Even small businesses have become susceptible to cyber attacks. When people use their own devices, companies are left trusting their employee’s own cybersecurity. That’s an issue. Not only that but if you have a lot of employees, your risk is even greater.
  • Employee Privacy – While employees like to use their devices for work, there is still the issue of privacy. The boundaries of work and personal life become blurred when companies have to choose between security and privacy. The more security you place on an employee’s device, the less privacy they have.
  • Legal – Storing private company data onto a personal device can cause some legal problems. For instance, if potentially sensitive data falls into the wrong hands, whose fault is it?

The Right Choice for Your Business

Only you know the right choice for your business when it comes to using personal devices at work. However, we hope that this list of pros and cons helps with your selection.

Why Do good Checklist Increase Safety at Work?

Trusted by healthcare professionals, pilots, and engineers, checklists help increase safety protocols in many industries. However, what makes a good checklist?

Safety checklists are essential to future-proof your business from accidents or incorrect procedures. If you’re thinking of adding a checklist for your company, read on to find out what makes a great safety checklist.

Why Do We Need Checklists?

Checklists have had a positive effect on healthcare. According to the World Health Organization, using a five-step checklist reduced bloodstream infections by two-thirds. Additionally, during an 18-month period, the state of Michigan saved 1,500 lives by using a checklist.

While not all industries have a component of life and death, these statistics support that checklists can provide safety. For instance, providing checklists for procedural tasks can significantly increase efficiency and safety for a wide variety of industries.

If you’ve been thinking about adding a checklist for safety, efficiency, or accountability, please follow these tips. A checklist must be:

  1. Precise
  2. Efficient
  3. Easy to follow
  4. Practical

Precise

A good checklist is precise. It should focus on the most critical steps needed to complete a task safely. It should work with the flow of the project and not be filled only with boxes to check. Having areas for comments is essential to make a checklist precise.

Efficient

Having a checklist should be about performing your job in a safe, efficient manner. Therefore, while having checklists are essential, they shouldn’t have everything but the kitchen sink. Focusing on important reminders of only the most essential steps is key.

Easy

A good checklist is easy enough to use in even the most hectic situations. Therefore, your checklist should be easy enough to apply, no matter the situation.

Practical

A good checklist is a practical tool to do your job safely. That means that it shouldn’t hinder or impede the overall process. Checklists help process the steps needed to keep a task safe. Therefore, a good checklist focuses on accountability, safety, and procedural measures.

Use Checklists for Work Safety

Using and applying safety protocols can help decrease incidents, provide accountability, and increase efficiency. With the right checklist, you can provide a safe work environment for some of your most dangerous tasks.

If you want to create a digital checklist, use Coral Collect and its form builder!

How Using a Mobile App in Data Collection Will Help Your Business?

Up until recently, pen and paper were the king of the data collection methods. You’d send your staff out armed with a biro, GPS, camera, and a stack of field forms. They’d return with a pile of paper that needed hours more work to turn into something actionable.

Thankfully, that era is at an end for four primary reasons:

  • Pen and paper are inefficient data collection tools.
  • An overly manual workflow is prone to errors.
  • Too much equipment in the field is counterproductive. And most importantly….
  • The mobile app has come along to make survey data collection far more effective!

Why a mobile app in Data collection?

Around 44.9% of the global population own a smartphone. With 3.2 billion users worldwide, mobile devices and mobile applications have become integral parts of everyday life.

The reality is that you’re far more likely to find a smartphone in someone’s pocket than pen and paper.

In short, the prevalence of mobile apps means most workers will find a field data collection app intuitive and easy to adopt.

What Are the Functionalities of a Field Data Collection Application?

The strength of field data collection software is that it can be adapted to suit your needs. The primary functions of an efficient data collection app like Coral Collect include:

  • Creation of digital forms for survey data collection via a mobile form builder.
  • Easy survey data collection on most mobile devices.
  • Data collection app compatibility with primary operating systems.
  • Simple collection of georeferenced data with a GIS app.
  • Recording of multiple types of media in a single mobile data collection field survey app.
  • Integrated offline data collection.
  • Ability to access data collection forms remotely via the cloud.
  • Survey data collection and automated report generation.

What are the main advantages?

Using an inspection app increases efficiency, reduces redundancy, and provides you with actionable data insights. Furthermore, a data collection using a mobile forms app reduces time in the field and therefore reduces costs.

Added to this is the fact that the efficiency of a field survey app allows a smaller team to tackle larger projects. Using them will provide your business with greater flexibility and scalability. Furthermore, automating the data gathering process eliminates the inconsistencies and errors associated with manual data collection, improving data reliability.

Additionally, Coral Collect’s drag and drop form builder allows you to create custom data collection forms that are perfectly tailored to your specific needs.

Finally, Cloud based apps allow for real-time analysis of both incoming data and the effectiveness of data gathering teams. Decision makers can then use that data immediately to make informed decisions faster.

Increasing Your Productivity

Repeated studies have shown that using a flexible forms app for field data collection can increase field team productivity by as much as 40%.

If you’re interested in equipping your staff with a powerful but easy to use mobile tool that will revolutionize the way you collect and use data, try Coral Collect.

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!

The Pros and Cons of Working with the Cloud in Data Collection

If the pandemic has taught us anything, it’s that remote work is here to stay. Consider the state of the workplace.

  • Eighty percent of American employees prefer flexible jobs.
  • Google has embraced the flexible working environment at least through September 2021.
  • A study by Novipro found that over 50 percent of Canadian businesses believe that the cloud is the future.

It is known that remote work is intimately linked to cloud technology. Aside from the current pandemic context, collecting data in the field is by nature a work that has always been done remotely. This case study is a good illustration of the pros and cons of working with a cloud solution.

Pros of Working with the Cloud in Data Collection

  • Security
  • Efficiency 
  • Collaboration
  • Flexibility
  • Cost Reduction

Security

Cloud computing is very secure these days. Indeed, the storage and backup of your data are no longer done locally but on duplicated external servers. Thereby, you are no longer vulnerable to incidents (flood, fire, and theft) that can put your hardware and data at risk.

Efficiency

Cloud allows a mobile application to be connected to a cloud database. Thus, this technology accelerates the speed of data processing and increases productivity. As a result, all the steps of manual data transcription are eliminated compared to a traditional “local” type solution.

“The mobile forms app is a lifesaver for my inspectors by improving our accuracy in the field,” says Greg, VP operations “Our inspection app has reduced errors and eliminated redundant processes.”

Collaboration

A data collection app streamlines collaboration. Indeed, it ensures all team members have access to data in real time.

Moreover, this technology fosters communication between your team members which improves synergy and strengthen your business.

Field operations manager, Michelle, praises the benefits of the cloud and data collection forms. “A mobile data collection application provides an ideal solution that promotes data sharing and collaborative work.”

Flexibility

A data collection app allows you to carry out larger projects without increasing your staff proportionately.

As water maintenance technician Jonathan explains, “With a mobile form app, I can complete the required survey data collection in less time and more efficiently.”

Cost Reduction

Perhaps the greatest benefit of a mobile form app is the money that the organizations save. In addition to reducing data entry errors, it saves a lot of time when managing field data. And it’s no secret that saving time is saving money.

Cons of Working with the Cloud in Data Collection

While working with the cloud has tangible benefits, there are also other factors to consider when determining if it is right for your business.

Login

Accessing your data is one of the most feared problems in the cloud. Certainly, if the user does not have an internet connection, or a poor connection, he will not be able to access his work platform.

Backup Plan

It may be necessary to set up a backup plan that includes offline storage. Indeed, that will ensure your organization’s smooth operation in the event of a system failure with minimal downtime. 

Authorization management

Collaborative online work requires a manager to assign and manage permissions for changes to a database. Moreover, it will be more complicated for large projects, with many participants at multiple levels.

Consequently, the person in charge of a project may spend a lot of time managing this aspect to the detriment of their other tasks.

Make sure you put in place an adequate and effective authorization system from the start to control this potential inconvenience.

Change Management: Integration of a New Technological Tool

Change management is a controversial topic, and it harbors a poor reputation in most industries. Indeed, some see it as a way of forcing employees to accept change. In fact, change management is a term used to describe a company’s approaches to prepare for organizational change. These approaches include supporting and assisting those who will be impacted by this change.

While change management has been on the table for over 25 years, the field has not evolved as it should. As a result, the changes are not always well established. Contrary to popular belief, change management is not reserved for large companies simply because they have the resources to implement modifications.

On the contrary, small organizations also need to integrate change management into their practices. Since change management is mainly managing employees, there are implementation steps that will make the process much easier for everyone involved.

The Stages of Implementing Change Management

Here are the steps to follow to foster a smooth transition for employees:

The process is divided into 3 main stages:

  • Current state: Change announced but not enforced.
  • Transition state: Implementation of the change.
  • Future state: After the change is implemented.

Current State

Analysis and Diagnosis

At the stage of the current state, you must begin the process by the analysis and the diagnosis of the existing practices. Indeed, analyzing the current patterns in the organization’s process will give you the information you need to make a change.

Identifying stakeholders and likely resistances will allow you to ask the right questions. These questions are crucial to the success of your change. They will allow the followings: 

  • Implementing change from the best angle possible,
  • Understanding the audience and purpose of the change,
  • Anticipate brakes and levers of opportunity.

Interviewing employees is an essential part of the change management process. It will establish expectations for change, thereby acknowledging and pinpointing employees who complain. When this happens, you can identify which ones will be helpful in the transition.

 Formal Communication

Establishing formal communications to employees will help explain the purpose and reasons for the change. In addition, carrying out frequent informal communication with stakeholders will help define the extent to which they apprehend the change, as well as their level of understanding and commitment.

It is therefore through formal communications that we explain the change and through informal communications that we can go further and gather interesting lessons.

Your communication around change is good when employees are able to answer these questions:

  • What is the change?
  • Are they aware of why it is necessary to make this change?
  • What is the stake of this change?
  • What is the context of this change?
  • Do they understand how their work will change? 

“Everyone must see the value of your tool. Because when people don’t see it, that’s when inconsistencies in use are found.” – Patrick Grégoire, CEO, Borealis

Transition State

In the transition stage, you need to involve people in the company to help them embrace the change. During the transition stage, it’s necessary to consider employee involvement as much as the change itself. To do so successfully, ensure that you: 

  • Communicate the benefits of the change and help employees see the change as an opportunity.
  • Keep stakeholders close, and don’t exclude them by being too formal. Listen to concerns and communicate frequently.
  • Implementing a new tool will require training workshops and useful practice guides. Don’t let employees feel dismissed or confused by not instructing them thoroughly on the new additions.
  • Track down key employees that will assist you in supporting the rest of your company. Indeed, they will help other employees adapt, and therefore welcome the unfolding opportunities available.
  • Generate short-term successes and make them available for all to see. Create concrete feedback and involve people in continued project development. 

Future State 

A change is a process that takes you from an existing situation to the situation you desire. In the future state of change management, your company should be close to that targeted point.

The speed at which employees adapt to change management will differ from one company to another. Here, it’s essential to create sustainability of change. 

  • Embed and secure the change program throughout your company’s communication channels and everyday operations.
  • Ensure that your new tool receives a great reception company-wide.
  • Take advantage of key users who will share their knowledge with others, ensuring that all changes are implemented correctly and efficiently.
  • Consistently and positively reinforce all changes brought on by the new tool or process.

Consistently send feedback you receive from managers and key users to the employees, on the use of the technological tool implemented and its impact on their workflow. Effectively, when employees have taken ownership of the change, change management is at its most successful. 

The Successful Utilization of Change Management

“The conduct (management) of change is essential so that everyone feels concerned and can find their place in the transformation to be lived.” Jérémy Cem Dursun, Change Management Specialist

The definite improvements that change management brings may not always be visible at first, especially to employees that are unsure of change. In Chinese calligraphy, two signs represent change: the danger and the opportunity. Therefore, it is essential that your employees see the change as an opportunity to improve their skills rather than a disruption in their working conditions.

When implemented correctly, change offers lasting benefits. Change management creates a solid foundation of trust, and it helps develop the feeling of belonging, which is essential for the harmonious development of the company.

We would like to thank Jérémy Dursun for his contribution in preparing this article.

Cloud Storage vs Local Storage in Data Collection

Cloud technology has continued to increase in popularity in recent years. This growth is driven by the fact that users can access stored documents, applications, and additional processing capacity without having to invest in their own software and hardware systems.

Most businesses have found that cloud storage is the right solution, but some organizations prefer to use local based software and databases. Some use cases, like a field data collection application, will only reach its full potential if utilized with a cloud-based solution. On the other hand, a simple word processing application may be able to function properly on local infrastructure.

There are advantages and disadvantages to both solutions, and this article will help you understand the pros and cons of each!

Understanding Cloud Storage Solutions

Cloud storage solutions refer to technology that allows to store information online rather than in a specific server and location. Typically, a third-party service provider manages the cloud storage platform, and you can access the information from anywhere.

Advantages of Cloud Storage

There are many advantages to cloud storage solutions, including the following:

  • Cost-Effectiveness
  • Improved Accessibility and Scaling
  • Enhanced Data Integrity and Recovery

Cost-Effectiveness

Cloud-based options are more cost-effective. You are generally paying based on your usage, so you will only be required to pay for what you use.

Local based solutions require physical infrastructure that costs the same to install and maintain whether you use 1% of its capacity or 100%!

Improved Accessibility and Scaling

A mobile forms app that integrates with cloud storage can allow your field inspectors to create digital forms and upload results directly to a database – which can be accessed from anywhere, at any time. The only requirement is an internet connection (unless your solution allows you to work offline, which is usually the case), and you can have a fully functional field data collection app in the palm of your hands!

The improved accessibility this provides also makes it easier to scale your operations. If your business experiences seasonal demand or unexpected increases, the service provider can increase your available storage capacity on the spot.

Enhanced Data Integrity and Recovery

Regardless of which data collection methods you use, keeping a history of changes and having the ability to recover data are essential. Field data collection software that uses cloud-based solutions lets you do just that!

All of the survey data collection that has occurred is duplicated in several places, ensuring the security and integrity of the data. You can roll back the system if an unwanted change is ever made, but those changes that are intentional will be automatically synced and updated across every device.

Disadvantages of Cloud Storage

While there are many benefits to cloud storage, not every solution is perfect. These are some of the disadvantages related to cloud solutions:

  • Reliance on a Third-Party
  • Added Security Risks

Reliance on a Third-Party

One of the few downsides to a cloud-based inspection app is that you are dependent on the company that developed the solution to access your data. In other words, you are relying on the supplier for performance.

Added Security Risks

If access to your field data depends on a cloud service provider, you are also trusting them to keep your data safe. Your organization does not have exclusive control over the security of your data, so you must trust them!

What about Local Storage Solutions?

A local storage system keeps digital data on physical devices like solid-state drives, hard disc drives, or other infrastructure. You can access the data stored on local storage solutions if you are connected to the local network or if you connect the device to your computer. 

Advantages of Local Storage

Local storage systems have some advantages like the following:

  • Fast Speeds
  • Enhanced Security

Fast Speeds

Since an external or internal hard drive does not need to upload to the cloud or download the data, you can access the information much quicker.

Enhanced Security

When you use physical devices to store field data collection forms, you have complete control over how the information is stored and who can access it. Your organization can design strict security protocols to ensure your data is kept safe.

Disadvantages of Local Storage

Here are some of the disadvantages of local storage:

  • Lack of Accessibility
  • Increased Costs
  • There is no Back-Up

Lack of Accessibility

The biggest drawback of local storage is that your data is not easily accessible. It can be complicated to share survey data with team members and clients if they’re not all connected to the local network. 

Increased Costs

A local solution can be more expensive because it requires investment for infrastructure, maintenance, and regular upgrading costs.

There is no Back-Up

If the server or hard drive that contains all of your survey data collection dies, the information dies with it! When you store information locally, you increase the risk of data loss due to fires, floods, or other issues.

Which Solution is Right for You?

Cloud storage solutions are the future. Local storage is the old way of working. However, many organizations continue to rely on it because they have misconceptions about data security and are resistant to change.

The advantages provided by cloud storage for field data collection far outweigh its disadvantages.

Looking for a cloud-based field data collector? Try Coral Collect for free!

Collecting Quantitative vs. Qualitative Data in the Field

There is no question that data and data collection tools are crucial to studying the results of your field operations. Depending on your data collection methods, you will be able to observe patterns and trends within your business industry, allowing you to make informed decisions.

It is vital for everyone working in the field operations sector to understand that it’s more important to collect the right data than all data possible. To do this, you’ve got to properly prepare your team for the process with a field data collection software, and define the objectives of the operation. Start by asking yourself these questions.

Throughout the process of creating field data collection forms for your impending operation, you’ve got to choose between questions that will generate qualitative or quantitative data.

 Understanding Quantitative Data

Quantitative data can be quantified or answered in one word or number, such as when, how much, yes or no. This video tutorial shows you how to create digital forms using fields who will give you quantitative data.

Overall, quantitative data is better for creating reports because the information is standardized. It’s incredibly useful for survey data collection and creating visuals for immediate trend interpretation.

Quantitative data is ideal for field data collection, as it’s easy to chart, track, and interpret. On the other hand, quantitative data doesn’t give away too many details regarding the observed state, other than what we can see and count. For example, quantitative data will tell you that the door is in bad condition, but it will not inform you how it got that way.

 That’s where qualitative data comes in.

 Utilizing Qualitative Data

Unlike quantitative data, qualitative data is a result of open questions. Qualitative data include opinions and interpretations from people or experts who made the observations. 

They typically write their findings in their own words, which leads to loss of data accuracy and reliability. Qualitative data has so much to offer us but needs execution similar to that of quantitative data to boost accuracy. Using a digital forms app to create questions and control responses is an excellent start to authenticating qualitative data results.

Conclusion: What is better in your data collection methods?

When it comes to quantitative versus qualitative data in a field data collection operation, put quantitative first. Only employ qualitative when it’s essential for a better understanding of the observed situation.

Coral Collect is happy to present you with free access the only data collection solution you’ll ever need. With Coral Collect, you and your team can collect, save, and share data in the field.

This collaborative solution allows for every level of your organization (technicians, analysts, managers, etc.) to have a place in the management of field data. In a world of inaccuracy, let Coral Collect act as your source of data reliability. Sign up today!

Top 5 tips for creating a good mobile digital form

 So, you’ve decided to turn your field data collection paper form into a mobile digital form. You’ll want to make one that not only captures information but analyzes it to extract meaningful insights.

Here, we’re going to cover the most useful tips when creating an efficient digital form for mobile data collection. These 5 main tips are:

  • The choice of a platform with a mobile form builder
  • Headers
  • Temporal fields
  • Predefined observation choices
  • Photo field 

1.   Choose a platform with a form builder

Specifically, work from a field data collection app that’s modular and includes a drag and drop form builder. It should also contain a wide variety of fields (checkbox, text, number, etc.). You’ll then be able to create a form that’s as customized as possible. 

2.   Add in headers in your digital form

The longer your form, the more important it is that you include headers that categorize the responses. They’ll allow you to quickly locate information that still needs to be collected.

3.   Include temporal fields in your digital form

It’s important to capture the date and time your form was filled out.

You’ll find this information useful for a few things, especially:

  • Temporal data analysis and traceability,
  • To highlight any patterns in how observations change over time. 

4.   Write predefined observation choices

To make your data easier to analyze, you’ll want to limit the user’s ability to write personalized responses or comments as much as possible (except for occasions when you’re specifically gathering qualitative data).

Predefined answer choices increase the reliability of the data and efficiency of the data collection operation, because they result in:

  • Standardized and more precise data
  • Reduced time to complete the form – users can categorize their observations into one of your options

Of course, there may be times when, despite your best efforts to provide the right options, the user needs to indicate a different answer. You should therefore add an ‘Other’ choice to each question, along with a text field that the user can complete. If their answer is useful for future responses, add this missing item to your data collection form moving forward.

5.   Insert a photo field

Add a photo field into your form to provide visuals that add extra value. In fact, only a photo will usually provide a visual that will specify the state of the observed data.

The Coral Collect app has a simple-to-use form builder. With it, you’ll be able to quickly create personalized forms, from the most basic to complex data collection operations.

And as a bonus, you can collect your data directly from your mobile app on iOS and Android devices anywhere.

We even have a video guide to help you create your first form.Try out Coral Collect for free today.