No matter what industry you are in, we live in a digital age. That means that information collection and processing is more important than ever.
You need the right processes in place to make sure you’re leveraging modern tools in the best way, or else you could be leaving profits on the table.
In this article, we will discuss the multiple benefits of mobile data collection for businesses around the globe. You will be able to see how different aspects of data collection apply to your own organization, and implement a way to capture this data digitally.
But first, let’s start with a quick definition of mobile data collection and how it can benefit organizations from a higher level view.
What is Mobile Data Collection?
Mobile data collection refers to the process involved in gathering information from mobile users and using that information to answer hypotheses or research questions, and evaluate your results.
This allows your business to gather quantitative, measurable information that is uploaded to a platform that makes your key analysis and stakeholder team able to view and process the data quickly.
As a result, they will be able to make informed decisions instead of wild guesses.
The data is often uploaded into a centralized database to expedite this process and maintain organization.
Recently, for instance, mobile data has proven its value in a more generally relevant context, as it was used to track the contacts of citizens infected with COVID-19, helping health organizations manage the spread of the disease.
It’s clear that mobile data collection offers various benefits; now let’s look at some advantages you can enjoy by employing it in your business.
Collecting data in the traditional ways expends your resources and depletes your ability to invest in key areas of your business.
But cost-reduction is one of the central features of contemporary data collection, especially on mobile devices.
First of all, you get rid of the need for amassing data on paper.
Because of this, the task becomes faster and easier for your field workers, eliminating a lot of the payroll traditionally tied up in this process.
This results in substantial savings for you, because you no longer need to maintain the upkeep costs of printers, toners, and physical paper that must be brought into the office.
Furthermore, old-school survey methods mean that you need to use double data entry — in other words, two workers are entering the same data twice in different places, along with a supervisor overlooking the entry to spot errors or corrections.
By eliminating this redundancy, you also eliminate the extra costs associated with it.
Increase Business Process Speed
Standard data collection involves a lot of time-consuming steps. Mobile data collection, on the other hand, lowers the time involved.
This helps you speed up your processes in two distinct ways.
First of all, your field data collection time goes down since you are relying on lightning-fast digital data processing and automation instead of manpower.
Secondly, the time needed to analyze that data also decreases.
The real-time data is uploaded instantly without the need for human input.
Of course, managers can be notified when this extra information is available through automated alerts and other configurations. Thus, your team can remain responsive — without the lag time.
The last thing you want is to gather data that is inaccurate, as this is worse than simply not collecting data at all. After all, you might make crucial mistakes based on the wrong information.
However, mobile data collection lets you customize how you collect this information by introducing your own quality checking tools.
These reduce the chance of an error at the point of entry, which also filters down to the decisions you make.
One of the key situations in which this applies is during interviews with clients or prospects.
You can input data with the peace of mind that if a certain form contains the wrong data type or odd information (based on your internal descriptions), the system will alert you or automatically perform the correction.
Improved Handling of Fieldwork
You can enjoy more flexibility and control of your in-field data collection when you use mobile methods of capturing data.
On mobile, in-field surveys can be uploaded and updated over a limited internet connection (and even saved to your input device and later uploaded even if you don’t have access to one at the time).
In a standard interview there can be a range of errors such as filtering logic, question phrasing, or standard typos.
Mobile data collection allows the management and field team to communicate more clearly both ways without experiencing any of those typical errors.
More Secure Data Storage and Redundancy
For the companies of today, protecting information is more crucial than ever. There have been a number of high profile data leaks in the last few years, and 2020 especially.
Thus, data security is one of the biggest trends to look out for.
When data leaks happen, your business suffers a lack of trust and credibility from your customers. This results in numerous issues that affect your bottom line.
Paper carries similar risks because it can be mishandled, lost, or destroyed so easily.
Data leaks, or losses of any kind, also cause problems down the road for your organization when this data needs to be accessed and used again.
However, digital mobile data is different.
Digital mobile data can be stored, saved, copied, and backed up (giving you “data redundancy”) on different services and devices.
You can even encrypt the data just in case it falls into the wrong hands, allowing you to ensure secure storage for you and your customers’ peace of mind.
Data has never been more important for businesses than it is now. Mobile data collection can decrease the time, resources, and risks associated with traditional data collection. It also improves the quality of the data you collect in-field.
No matter what industry you are in, mobile data has made it possible for you to collect information about your market and business processes, then deliver it to your team in a way that is error-free and easy to access.
That way, your key stakeholders can make better decisions, faster, and with lower costs.
So make sure you are using tablets or smartphones to collect information in your business. It provides an exciting way to create innovation and security.
Otherwise, you might find that your competitors are enjoying all of these benefits while your company falls behind in revenue, customer trust, and profitability.
Heather Redding is a content manager for rent, hailing from Aurora. She loves to geek out writing about wearables, IoT and other hot tech trends. When she finds the time to detach from her keyboard, she enjoys her Kindle library and a hot coffee. Reach out to her on Twitter.