Collecting research data using paper is hard. In most cases, many things that can go wrong will go wrong if you choose to do traditional data collection. Fortunately, you can avoid frustration and hassle by using a data collection app.
This guide will show you what data collection apps are and why they are essential. We’re also going to show eight solutions that will help you capture high-quality field data – minus the hassle! Whether you’re working offline or need to gather sensitive field data, we’ve got you covered.
What is Data Collection Software?
Data collection software is a program that’s designed to manage and distribute data. This means it can be used for many different purposes, including but not limited to research projects, business reports, marketing campaigns, or just collecting information from employees. Data collection software is typically used by businesses looking to capture customer insights to drive future decisions based on the collected data.
Why is Data Collection Software Important?
Without data collection software, businesses would have to spend hours and hours gathering data manually – a process that can be extremely time-consuming and frustrating. Not to mention the fact that it’s easy to make mistakes when inputting information into a spreadsheet or database. With data collection software, all of this data can be easily gathered and sorted in a matter of minutes, meaning businesses can spend less time gathering information and more time using it to make decisions.
How to Capture Data Offline?
Most data collection apps are mobile applications that allow you to collect data offline. This means that you can continue working even if you’re not connected to the internet. Simply enter your data into the app, and it will be synced with the cloud when you click next.
Case Management vs. Cross-sectional Data Collection
When shopping for data gathering tools for research, it’s essential to know that projects differ in purpose and design. That means the mobile survey app that you should choose should be flexible enough for a wide range of data, especially in potentially disconnected areas.
One important difference between research projects is the time frame; specifically, will the data be captured exclusively from subjects once (cross-sectional), or does it require measurements at multiple moments in time (case management)?
Research that involves repeated measurements at one point in time is known as a cross-sectional study. That means this data is only captured once from each subject. Cross-sectional data is useful when you want to know about a population at a specific point in time. For example, cross-sectional data would be ideal if you’re interested in the prevalence of a certain disease within a population.
Research that requires repeated measurement throughout multiple moments (or periods) of time is known as case management study. Both types can be used with apps, but each operates differently and has different uses. Case management can create multiple entities and track changes over time. This is done by creating a subject and then adding measurements (data) to that subject at different times.
Choosing the Right Data Collection App for Your Needs
Now that you understand the basics of data collection software, it’s essential to choose the right app for your needs. Not all data collection apps are the same; some are designed for specific purposes, while others can be used in various industries.
If you’re working on market research or gathering customer insights, it’s essential to choose an app that lets you analyze and visualize your findings quickly and easily. If, however, you need something more flexible that can be used in different industries, then we recommend checking out the following apps:
TallyFox Research App
Collect and analyze data from offline sources. This app is great for surveys, questionnaires, interviews, or even to monitor a certain behavior over time. TallyFox allows you to sync your research devices with an online account, so all of your data is stored in one place.
SurveyCTO was created for researchers who need to gather data in remote areas or without reliable internet connections. The app syncs with SurveyCTO’s servers so you can collect data offline and then upload it when you have an internet connection. This app is also great for other uses such as collecting data for compliance training, or remote interviews. As you can see, this app is versatile and flexible enough to be used in different situations.
This app allows you to collect offline and online surveys, so it’s excellent if your research requires a mixture of the two types. Field Agent also has a GPS tracker so you can monitor your employees. Other features include:
- A photo and video capturing.
- Asset tracking.
- Consumer insights from nearby stores.
Available for Android, iOS, and Web platforms, TeamScope is a secure and easy-to-use data collection system. It’s specially designed for clinical research and sensitive data. TeamScope offers a unique feature called “dynamic question codes.” They can dynamically change the order of questions based on responses.
For example, if a person answers “Yes” to one specific question, they could be automatically directed to another questionnaire or survey. With TeamScope, you can create customized user profiles and permissions for each respondent so only authorized users have access to necessary data.
ResearchKit is an Apple app designed specifically for health and medical research studies. The app allows you to create surveys, track symptoms, or even monitor physical activity. ResearchKit also includes a feature called “Open Studies,” which lets you collaborate with other researchers on different studies. This is a great way to gather data from a wider range of people.
Qualtrics is an app that was created for market research and customer insights. It offers both online and offline surveys and robust data analysis tools. Qualtrics also has a feature called “Insights,” which allows you to visualize your data in different ways quickly. This is a great way to analyze your findings rapidly.
Field Agent is an app that allows you to collect offline and online surveys, so it’s excellent if your research requires a mixture of the two types. The app also has a GPS tracker so you can monitor your employees. Other features include photo and video capturing, asset tracking, checklists, or even consumer insights from nearby stores.
Open Data Kit
Open Data Kit is an android data collection app that allows you to create surveys, collect data and track it in real-time. The app also includes a feature called “Opinion Polls,” which lets you quickly gather feedback from people on specific topics. This is great for getting quick insights into people’s opinions.
Why is DataMyte a Powerful Data Collection Software?
We can’t conclude this list without mentioning our very own DataMyte Digital Clipboard. DataMyte is an online productivity platform that allows you to collect, manage and analyze data. It may not have all the features of other apps mentioned in this guide, but it has other unique perks to offer, including creating surveys, scheduling tasks, setting reminders for follow-ups, or even monitoring your employees’ attendance.
The DataMyte Digital Clipboard can be used for any research project, but it thrives in industrial-level work. With its user-friendly interface and powerful tools, the DataMyte Digital Clipboard is a must-have for anyone who wants to collect data effectively. To learn more about our products, visit the official DataMyte Digital Clipboard website.