Online data collection tools and methods are the most used ways to gather data efficiently. From emails, chats to online forms and mobile apps, there are many online data collection ways when you are connected to the Internet. However, the problem is that, sometimes, you or your team need to collect data without any internet connection. How to deal with this issue?
Methods to collect offline data
There are several methods to collect data while you are offline. Here we have listed some examples:
Paper forms: This is the most traditional way of offline data collection. Using paper forms to gather data required printing the questions on paper sheets of paper and distributing them.
Conversational SMS forms: With this method, the information is collected using SMS and responses come in like a chat.
Offline data collection apps: These apps include forms are created online and can be filled without internet access. When you return to areas with internet access, the forms sync with the online database.
Paper forms are accessible to all people and they are easy to complete but this method also has disadvantages. For instance, all the information need to be written or typed, send over to the central office and upload to server or database. Gathering information manually tend to increase the number of mistakes so the result must not as accurate as we wish.
SMS forms are an effective way to gather data while you are offline but the type of information you can include is limited. You cannot add files, images and videos or GPS location. That is why you can only use SMS forms on certain occasions.
Thanks to the develop of new technologies, mobile apps have become very popular and a great way to collect information. However, a mobile app that just can work in online mode mobile isn’t good enough. Many industries require mobile apps that can work without Internet connection to avoid losing any data when the connection goes off. Offline data collection apps are the most way of gathering offline data collection.
Characteristics of offline data collection apps
Offline data collection apps can benefit your company improving overall efficiency and solve daily problems.
Offline data storage and access
Offline apps will often need to store data directly on the user’s device. This allows the application to work effectively even when there is no connection. There are several different methods or levels of an offline data storage that make an app run offline.
Data synchronization in offline mode
One of the essential features of offline data collection apps is that users are able to perform some actions in offline mode and then synchronize it with the database. Data synchronization is the second of two core capabilities that mobile apps. It is fundamental to a wide variety of applications, including mobile device synchronization.
Benefits of offline data collection apps
Here we have listed some of the benefits of using apps to make working offline more efficient.
Poor connectivity won’t affect your work
Offline data collection apps are more likely to be used in areas of poor connectivity. These apps are essential for industries or tasks carried out in areas with limited WiFi or data connectivity.
When stored locally, the data has little to no chance of getting breached.
Save time and resources
Offline data collection apps require very little loading time and are less likely to drain your battery.
At present, offline support is a part of these expectations and should no longer be ignored. Users want an app that works instantly and without any delays or difficulties. By implementing support of the majority of offline scenarios you will dramatically improve the mobile app user’s experience and boost your team’s productivity.
Of all the reasons listed on why you should use offline data collection methods, the most relevant one is that information is not easily ‘lost’ with offline forms. Issues like bad internet connection may affect result syncing for online forms while paper forms can get thrown out and might cause the loss of some data. This is not the case with offline forms and this is more than enough reason for you to choose them over paper forms.
When choosing a mobile data collection app, remember that the ability to operate offline or disconnected should be on the top of the list of priorities. DataScope mobile form app is fully functional and editable without an internet connection.
Are you ready to start collecting data offline? DataScope forms have robust features and can work both online and offline.
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.