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
- 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.