There can simply be no comparison between paper-based data collection and data collection done with business apps on a mobile communication device. The app-based data collection processes done with mobile form apps have made the work of field data collectors much easier than it was with paper. With the elimination of manual writing, the logistics related to the old, 'paper and clipboard' kind of data collection work are no more a point of concern. There are some great business apps on the market today that make this work a much more rewarding experience. Not only the data collected by these business apps are in a much more uniform manner and without the hassles of tedious data entry, but this advancement of technology also enables field reps to collect more data with more details in a much lesser time.
With these efficient mobile apps for business, staffing is much more optimally utilized, time is better managed and data thus collected is much more usable, quick to exchange and analyze. Given how vital field data is for businesses, there is a massive demand for these tools as well. Developers offer many business apps with data collection features to choose from.
There are a few important considerations that the project teams need to contemplate before making the final choice.
This question has deliberately been put as the first point of focus. Mobile apps for business, irrespective of what they are used for, are tools that are shared by many people simultaneously. All these users can come from different technological, educational, lingual and even cultural backgrounds. Great business apps are those that understand this and offer user-friendly interfaces for the field workers, the project team that will design the form, and ultimately, the team that will receive the collected data for further application and analysis. In case of small businesses or groups where not much technical qualification is available, best business apps offer the flexibility of working without any coding.
At Axonator, all these considerations are the basis of business app development. Simply with the drag and drop feature within the browser, anyone can create a quick data collection form. There is entirely no coding required. Also, forms designed in this manner are user-friendly, flexible and infinitely more versatile.
The best business apps are those which accommodate versatility, without any complicated technical requirements. Not only does Axonator need no coding, but it also allows users to add fields to include pictures and GPS locations as well, along with the usual text and numbers. Further, with the Intelligence Dashboard feature, data collected by field reps is captured with a time stamp and GPS location. This enables the project team to know how much of the field was covered in exactly how much time. The intelligence Dashboard gives them an edge unlike any other app and provides them minute details about the efficiency of the staff engaged in the field. Keeping true to the idea of flexibility, all this data can be made available in the form of charts, graphs, maps, etc.
This flexibility makes the data infinitely more usable and manageable. Given the insights into how efficient the staff is in a particular kind of field, and by knowing where they are quicker and more efficient, the investment in the team can be optimally managed. A field data app that not only helps with the actual data but also the overall background of a business operation is, therefore, a natural choice to make.
Data collection through business apps has, indeed, eliminated several time-consuming and cost-inefficient steps from the workflow of data management. It is much easier to use the data once it is digitized and can be applied for several purposes. In case of paper-based forms, the data collected must be entered manually into a computer-based system before it can be used for any practical purpose. Axonator takes this convenience one step further.
By allowing project management teams to create workflows by a simple drag and drop, the app becomes useful not only in data collection and data management but can also help with the actual usage of the data with ease as well. Workflows can include any actions that are available in the browser for both Android and iOS.
Teams can have the data exported in PDF, send emails to leads, or groups of persons, compute the data and store it in Google drive, or share it with third parties or their existing system API. With Axonator, all these different steps can even be put in a single workflow by merely dragging and dropping them in a sequence. This gives the project management more of an enabler than just a data collection tool.
So, while there is a range of business apps in the market, before relying upon any one of them, businesses should consider the empowerment they get from these. Field data, after all, is the lifeblood of a business strategy and must be entrusted only to the best.