Advances in technology have significantly impacted the monitoring and evaluation framework. Mobile-based data collection methods, in recent years, have emerged as the most effective, convenient, and user-friendly methods for gathering accurate data. Additionally, it takes less time than conventional pen-and-paper surveys and provides real-time and high-quality reliable data.
This blog explores the importance of mobile-enabled data collection and how it empowers social organizations to make smarter and data-driven decisions.
A manual data collection with pen and paper can have multiple errors and biased data, depending on many factors. For instance, the data collector may skip a piece of information they consider insignificant but essential for the survey; they may enter a value outside the expected range.
Below are some ways on how mobile based data collection is better than doing paper data entry.
Mobile data collection and the 11 benefits it offers
Cost savings: Conventional paper-based data collection is expensive, and involves printing cost, data transportation, data storage, and data entry-related costs. With mobile data collection, you can navigate the expenses only using smartphones and other mobile devices. Additionally, you can save a huge chunk of expenses on data entry and warehouse space.
Offline and real-time data collection: With on-the-go data collection, you can collect data in real-time completely offline, without internet connectivity. You have the data for analysis as soon as the respondents submit their answers. With a real-time approach, you can gather information fast, which helps in prompt decision-making and also allows you to make quick responses to field situations.
High-quality data with increased speed: When you collect data through mobile devices, you can be assured about gathering high-quality data with minimal to zero human error and lowered data entry mistakes. With high-quality programming and logical checks and skips in place, you can be sure of unbiased and high-quality data. Remote data collection also reduces or eliminates the time-consuming steps of the traditional process. You will stay updated about any problem that might arise in due process, and you can take subsequent steps as required.
Evidence-based research: Field data collection using mobile devices helps researchers to conduct evidence-based research. You can capture data in real-world settings and gather authentic and contextual information which are more accurate and reliable. This approach ensures that your decisions and policies are based on solid evidence-based research rather than assumptions or outdated data.
Accurate and data-driven decisions: With instant access to accurate and real-time data, decisions become more data-driven. With informed decisions, you are more aligned with your goals and objectives. Whether you want to adopt a better program evaluation strategy, optimize operations, or improve respondent responses, mobile-based data collection equips you with the timely insights needed to bring a social impact.
Highly secured data: Along with accuracy, your data security is a vital need, especially when you are working with communities and sensitive data. Mobile data collection helps you collect end-to-end encrypted data, giving you a highly secured data.
Live data monitoring on dashboards: It brings live data collection and data monitoring on intuitive custom dashboards. The dashboard offers real-time visualizations and analytics and enables you to track key metrics and monitor the progress of data collection.
Capturing field types beyond paper-based data collection: Digital data collection goes beyond simple surveys. It lets you capture various data types, including metadata, images, videos, audio, sensor data, and GPS coordinates. This versatility opens up endless possibilities for research, monitoring, and evaluation in various aspects with the required flexibility.
Do-it-yourself model: Most digital data collection platforms offer an intuitive app interface and easy-to-use tools to design and implement data collection projects and eliminate dependency on external resources. One can do all the programming work independently without relying on experts.
Increased control and flexibility in fieldwork: Collecting data through mobile allows us to correct small concerns during a field survey, such as typos or any kind of filter logic, and update the survey design. Doing this enables efficient communication between the management team and field staff.
Greener and sustainable approach: With mobile-enabled data collection, you can contribute to a greener and more sustainable approach to data gathering. By eliminating the need of paper and transportation processes, there is less consumption of resources. Using this digital data collection aspect, you can align your research goals with environmental values and promote sustainable practices.
There you see, digital data collection has more advantages and reasons for going paper-free. Remote data collection is revolutionizing how we gather information for field surveys and research.
Trestle has conducted field surveys for NGOs and research organizations for years in synergy with SurveyCTO as the most reliable platform to collect less costly, real-time, high-quality, and secured data. With our experience and users across 165 countries, we strongly recommend SurveyCTO as the best platform for mobile data collection.