Data collection software and mobile computing are changing the way that organizations are working in some of the most remote places on Earth. From humanitarian agencies to new highway construction companies, mobile data collection software is helping pave the way for humanitarian relief efforts and economic development projects.
Prior the development of mobile computing and the widespread availability of a wireless data connection, the ability to collect, upload and analyze data in remote areas was time consuming and susceptible to human error. Paper surveys often took weeks to complete and enter into a database, and the data collection methods were often limited to certain types of information.
The ability to sync information in real-time now makes it possible to conduct a survey and analyze the data in the field. Using smartphone-based data collection methods also increases the range of information types the user can take. For example, pictures and GPS coordinates can be included alongside tradition survey data and other vital pieces of information.
The use of web-based forms to collect data is common and widely accepted. With modern mobile web browsers, it is possible to access the web based version of existing forms from anywhere, but what happens when there is no data connection? While data connectivity is now prevalent, there are still many instances where cellular data service may not be available (ports, farms, new highway construction, interior of buildings, etc).
COMMANDmobile is data collection software that supports both online and offline data collection. Because the COMMANDmobile data collection software clients are native device applications, it is not necessary to have an active data connection to display the data collection forms like mobile web applications. If a data connection is available at the time data is collected, the data can be uploaded immediately via Wi-Fi, Ethernet, or mobile broadband connection. If a data connection is not available, the data is stored on the device until it can be uploaded.