Mobile Data Collection: What it is and what it can do
Data collection is nothing new, but the introduction of mobile devices has made it more interesting and efficient. Before the advent of mobile technology, we needed to use pen and paper to record information on the spot, or manually enter it into a computer to organize the information. But now, mobile data collection means information can be digitally recording on the mobile device at the source of its origin, eliminating the need for data entry after the information is collected.
1. What is mobile data collection?
Mobile data collection is a method of gathering different types of information with de help of a mobile device. It helps us save time, money, and human resources. It’s even more environmentally friendly by saving countless paper. And sometimes, collect data in the field by such a non-contact manner increases personnel security.
2. How can mobile data collection help the business?
2.1 Mobile data collection is more efficient and ensures data accuracy.
Filling out mobile forms on your phone is faster and minimizes manual data entry errors. Users can select data from lists, radio buttons, check boxes, or scanned data without having to enter information manually.
In addition, mobile data collection includes automatic data validation based on data type and required fields. Data validation and less manual input help reduce errors and save a lot of time.
2.2 Mobile data collection tracks the collection process in real time and manages teams.
You can update the mobile form changes anytime and anywhere (automatically sync between device and user). You can do an adjustment to the corresponding mobile form online in minutes, and all team members have immediate access to the same information.
Mobile data collection helps review collected data in real time and monitor projects. You can manage team roles (project manager, field crew, analyst…) using permissions to control who can collect or update data，which makes it easy to assign tasks and make decisions.
3. Examples of mobile data collection
Mobile data collection can be applied in any industry and to any workflow.
Recently, the whole world is paying attention to the coronavirus outbreak in China. In fact, the virus has gradually affected other countries. Under this crisis, the timely collection of personnel information has become an important part of the prevention and control of the virus. Only by knowing the epidemic situation in time can we deploy timely prevention and control measures.
For this, I have made 8 mobile data entry templates, which can be applied to the following five scenarios to help organizations and enterprises collect information. Below, I will explain specifically why mobile data collection is more efficient and secure at this time.
3.1 Health information collection
- Travel plan registration
The massive outbreak of the coronavirus happened in the Spring Festival of China. During this period, a large number of people moved across the country. Therefore, we need to count the travel situation of students or employees: whether they have a history of exposure to Wuhan (origin of the virus) or have contact with people from Wuhan. Through extensive investigation and timely quarantine, we hope to kill the virus in the cradle.
- Health registration
Through the investigation of personal physical conditions, we can improve people’s understanding of the outbreak situation, identify patients early and send them to the hospital for treatment.
In order to reduce the gathering of people and block the spread of the virus, many companies in China have begun to allow employees to work at home. To this end, we can make personnel attendance mobile forms to let employees punch in on their mobile phones. Enterprises can obtain employee location information from this, so as to understand the situation of the epidemic situation in the city where a certain employee is located. Attendance data generated through such mobile data collection is convenient for HR to count. For example, the following mobile form is a telecommuting environment survey.
- Telecommuting environment survey
3.3 Entry and exit registration
During this virus crisis, personnel access restrictions have been adopted in various areas. The entry and exit of personnel need to be registered. Traditional paper and pen registrations have the risk of contracting viruses with each other, and managers can’t view the entry and exit records in real time. So I made a mobile registration form to implement electronic registration. Visitors can fill out the registration form online using only a mobile phone, and managers can also view the real-time access records on the mobile phone, which facilitates troubleshooting when problems occur.
3.4 Inventory management
Now, the world is donating a lot of materials to China. The management of inventory is particularly important. How to efficiently manage warehouse entry, delivery of cargo from storage and the timely distribution of materials have also become problems. We can use mobile data collection to simplify material warehouse process management.
- Enter warehouse
- Supplies usage
3.5 Hospital management
During the outbreak, in addition to the need for data collection by enterprises and communities, hospitals also need to efficiently perform epidemic prevention statistics, such as patient information collection, daily increase of patients, medical records and reports, material applications, and so on.
- Patient information entry
- Registration of demand for medical supplies
Note: All the mobile forms in this article were made with the BI reporting & dashboard software FineReport. This tool was developed by the data institute I work for. It’s totally free for individual use. You can download it to practice making mobile forms, charts, reports and dashboards.
Mobile data collection definitely increases business operations efficiency. Practice has proven that this method can improve the speed and accuracy of data collection, the effectiveness of service delivery, and the performance of staff.
With mobile data collection, each team member can do more and make informed business decisions. Everyone on the team has immediate access to the information collected and can act quickly. So don’t hesitate, try the mobile data collection, and I promise you it will make your life easier and save you from the problems associated with the data loss and errors.
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