Mobile Data Collection Activities in Emerging Countries

Photo Courtesy of World Wide Web Foundation

Mobile Data Collection is being used by Government, Non Governmental Organizations (NGO’s), International Organizations (IO’s) and Private organizations to monitor, analyze, and report pertinent findings in relation to important issues regarding the environment, climate change, public health, human rights monitoring, epidemiology, population censuses, opinion polls, economic studies and many more.

Until recently, each of those tasks was completed using pens and paper; but today’s front line workers are increasingly using laptops, PDAs, tablets, GPS units or cameras to carry out their mobile data collection tasks. With the growth of data collection case studies and statistics, we are improving our understanding of the landscape of data collection activities, solutions and requirements.

Mobile Data Collection Opportunities in Sub Saharan Africa is a multi-phase research project that was completed by France-Telecom Orange in late 2012. It provides an in-depth analysis of mobile-enabled data-collection in Africa covering all aspects of the process: tools, actors, activities, business models, etc.; and outlines issues that are important for anyone interested in data collection.

Although the study focused on mobile data-collection in the specific context of emerging countries (and Sub-Saharan Africa in particular), mobile data collection is an area that holds many opportunities for organizations that wish to improve their existing data collection, or for companies that wish to offer services in the area of data collection.

Over time, data collection software will significantly improve and as a result will provide better help to the organizations, individuals and governments wishing to gather facts for social and economic development. Some recommendations provided in the study include:

  • Open new modalities: channels, such as USSD and SAT
  • make existing applications more interoperable through use of common formats
  • support missing features, which are essential to specific scenarios
  • increase the usability of existing software
  • simplify the setup and management processes

Command Mobile is a mobile data collection solutions that offers the following benefits:

  • Increases Productivity – allows field workers to be mobile while providing real-time access to centralized back-end data stores
  • Eliminates Redundancy – enter your data once and transmit it to everyone who needs it in minutes
  • Improves Workforce Management – With the GPS tracking and mapping feature, managers can direct tasks to field workers based on their locations
  • Reduces Implementation Time – with our easy to use form generator, you can create data collection forms on the fly to accommodate the data requirements of any application, for any industry

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About DeAnna Davidson

DeAnna Davidson is a proven technologist and business leader who is passionate about the power of mobile computing to revolutionize a business or industry, and dedicated to helping organizations use mobile, wireless, and web technologies to their advantage.


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