Democratized Data Collection Approach

Imagine a system, which enables people with smartphones to collect different types of data along with GPS coordinates. This data can be stored at a unified platform and each of the data-points collected by a smartphone gets recorded as a contributed entry. For the sake of nomenclature, let us call them data contributors or the feet-on-ground. Data collection is streamlined if there is a control on the data attributes to be collected. Hence, imagine that this system further allows an administrator to be the custodian of this data and is empowered with a platform through which she can ask these contributors with smartphones powered by internet connectivity to collect a particular kind of data. The mode of data collection will be through the templates / survey forms designed by her, which are automatically transmitted to these contributors on the ground to act upon. The platform will allow to create simple to complex forms with built-in logic and gamify the collection experience to enable contributors to reduce the typing errors or entering details to minimal level. True to its very nature, the data flow is real-time from the ground to the administrator’s office. What if the centralized platform has the capability to accept images, audios, videos or signatures and analyse them using Machine Learning andArtificial Intelligence (ML+AI)? What if the platform can help the administrator with little or no expertise in analytics in creating stories from the data automatically? What if the platform can also provide the geographical analysis with just a click of a button? What if the smartphone app has intelligent tools to collect data and make the use of app exciting in data collection? What if the contributors get regular reminders on collecting crucial monitoring data over a baseline? If a solution has such features, will someone still use old traditional ways of data collection — pen-paper method, hiring survey agencies or through emails?

Data collection using smartphones (Image Courtesy: Transerve)

In the dynamic landscape of the world today, changes are not easily measurable when it comes to framing and implementation of schemes by the government or launching the most appropriate product by a company for a wide geography. With the current population growth and varied consumer perceptions, consumer behavior studies now require dense data collection at regular intervals. The reach of internet is continuously increasing and influencing the users in a big way. Social media and online advertising are playing a major role in creating mass awareness. In such a dynamic world, the frequency of data collection in a dense country like India is an expensive proposition when it comes to traditional ways of survey on pen & paper or through the agents / survey companies. World Bank acknowledges smartphone based data collection in one of its feature stories and goes to the extent of equating the contribution of high-frequency data collection in economics and policy making to the contribution of genetics in medicine!

Transerve Data Collector (TDC) is one such tool which makes the entire data collection an exciting exercise. It has the tools which an organization can use to get the insights from the field quickly and eliminate the errors in data collection. Try out TDC at www.transerve.co and remember that it has a free trial period, so play around, experiment and realize the power of your smartphone in making data collection and easy and cost-effective.