Data collection: Mobile apps or Google forms?

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Are you trying to replace printed forms to collect data at a trade show or tracking a repair job? You will need a tool designed specifically for data collection so your team members can enter information such as images, bar codes and signatures to show that the work has been done.
There are dozens of excellent forms builders and survey tools that you can use to create contact forms on your website, create a form to record events and actions or to connect with your clients, workers and stakeholders.
Google forms allows you to create surveys and get answers. You can also find a variety of mobile applications that have different characteristics, but share many similarities. Here we have a detailed comparison between mobile applications and Google forms so you can analyse their pros and contras and choose the most suitable for your company.

Characteristics of surveys

Mobile applications: They allow to create customer satisfaction surveys, gather employees’ feedback, market research and more. You can choose between different types of different questions, including multiple-choice questions, text boxes, and A / B comparisons. Do not know what to ask? Save time and choose between questions already made that you will find in the vast majority of these applications. These mobile apps allow you to do an unlimited number of questions and collect a vast amount of answers to ensure you get all the data you need.
Google forms: You can choose from different types of questions including text and multiple choice. There Google forms templates created by users that come from different sources, but have not been developed and certified by experts.

Customer service

Mobile applications: Do your clients or workers have any questions or urgent problems? Almost all mobile applications offer email support for all their customers. Some paid plans also offer telephone support services and assistance to get instant answers. The vast majority of mobile applications also offer guides and tips to create effective surveys.
Google forms: Although there is no help centre dedicated exclusively to Google forms, there is a help center for document editors that has information about how to create and work with the forms.

Getting answers

Mobile applications: You can send your survey in many different ways. Copy and paste a web link into your emails, share them on social media or embedding them on your website. Most of the mobile apps can track who answered.
Google forms: You can share the link to your form anywhere on the web or send it by email directly from Google forms, but you cannot keep track of who responds or include any additional information. You can also use HTML to insert your form on a website.

Data analysis and reports generation

Mobile applications: They allow obtaining answers in real time and separating the data to carry out a more exhaustive analysis. You can convert the information into custom graphics and reports and you can export your results in Excel (XLS), PDF or PowerPoint (PPT) file formats.
Google forms: Your survey data is available in simple bar graphs, pie charts and texts. Users can not filter the results, but the data is automatically exported into a Google spreadsheet.

Sending images and signatures

Mobile applications: They allow you to attach photos taken at the moment by the camera, which guarantees greater precision in supervision and revision tasks. In addition, the people in charge or supervisors can add their signature, GPS location and time to show you that the task has been satisfactorily carried out.
Google forms: It also allows you to add images, but only file images. You cannot add photos that have been recently taken.

Off line

Mobile applications: Using some applications such as DataScope you can edit documents and gather data without Internet connection. This service work both online and offline.
Google forms: You can access data from Google Forms while you are offline, but it is impossible to complete forms without being connected to the Internet, which is an obstacle for certain activities on the field.



Mobile applications: In general, mobile applications offer a free plan that is efficient, but limited, and paid plans with different prices that provide more efficient functions and greater customization.
Google forms: It’s free.

DataScope is a platform which allows various industries to streamline, organize and evaluate the work of their field staffs thanks to online forms which provide real time indicators 100% adaptable to any field.

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About the author

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Sandra Melo

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