Mobile phones and telecommunication services are getting better and cheaper every year. Mobile phones are revolutionizing business. Today we use apps for everything, like ordering food at home, making payments and calling taxis. All types of businesses, large and small, rely on the ubiquitous mobile phones to maximize efficiency and productivity. Data collection and field inspection agencies are also looking at the benefits that can be offered by switching from paper data collection to mobile data collection.
save time – Data collection through paper forms is a difficult process. Additional curation and data entry into the database are time consuming and error prone. Mobile field data collection will save a lot of time.
Reduce costs – The manual completion of paper surveys incurs additional costs associated with printing, transporting and entering data into databases. Mobile data collection procedures will ensure lower costs in the long run and generate monetary gains for businesses.
Improve data quality – Mobile applications can prevent human errors from surveyors and field inspectors. The potential for human error is further reduced by eliminating the need for the data entry process. Errors in survey forms can be caught in advance and apps can be updated on the fly.
data security – Paper forms are prone to damage due to negligence or catastrophic events. This can be avoided by using mobile data collection apps that will simultaneously upload data to replicated servers.
Live data analysis – Mobile data collection apps can instantly upload data that business leaders can use to generate live reports and improve decision-making capabilities.
better compliance – With the data collection software, a set of pre-defined standards are mentioned and can be easily verified, allowing the field inspector to detect any measure of non-compliance.
technical training – Training field staff and providing them with updated documentation increases costs when using paper data collection. Mobile apps can provide field technicians with automated training and tips to help them do their jobs right. They can easily access up-to-date documentation from within the app.
Improve performance – It is often difficult to keep track of the performance, quality of work and productivity levels of field staff. With KPIs collected from mobile data collection apps, executives can monitor the performance of field staff and take action to improve performance.
security and emergency – It is not possible to track the conditions of employees in the field in emergency situations such as a collapsed mine, a downed power line or a gas leak. It becomes difficult to provide support in real time. With Professional Usher, managers can see the current location of employees on a map and review their recent activities.
There are some challenges to the widespread adoption of this technology.
Application development cost – The initial investment in application development is often an impediment for small businesses. Also, these applications need to be maintained and updated, and having to hire experts for this is expensive. Mobile forms apps help reduce these costs by providing a data collection platform where developers can develop and maintain data collection apps using a graphical drag-and-drop interface for various form components. The apps can then be deployed and made available in app stores on all mobile operating systems.
internet availability – Some rural areas may lack good internet connectivity. To serve such areas, the app must be able to collect data offline, which can be uploaded at a later time when internet access is restored. Developed applications can be used for offline data collection. The collected data is uploaded when Internet connectivity is restored.