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.
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.