Advances in remote data collection
Collecting data from the field is an essential task across many industries, and recent advances have made it easier than ever.
For centuries, data collection took place with paper and ink. But the explosion in the availability (and relative affordability) of mobile technology has made it possible for people in almost every sector to conduct large-scale data-collection projects using smartphones or tablets.
Gathering information on a mobile device eliminates wait times, lost forms, and data-entry errors, yielding more accurate, more accessible data that enables faster, more informed decision making.
It’s a win for everyone (except the paper industry, that is — sorry, Dunder Mifflin).
A lot of field data collection, however, takes place in disconnected environments — especially in the engineering, construction, and environmental services industries.
Data from remote locations is particularly valuable, because sometimes the only available data on these areas comes from satellite imagery, which is often outdated.
Fortunately, Fulcrum was designed to collect data even without internet connectivity. The information is simply stored on your device until you reach wi-fi or cellular coverage.
Here’s a quick, step-by-step guide to collecting mobile data offline with Fulcrum:
Step 1: To create a new record, tap the “+” icon at the bottom right of your screen.
Step 2: Fill out the form fields, and when you’re finished, click “Done” and then “Save.” Repeat the process for each record you want to collect.
Every new record’s location is automatically captured from your device’s GPS (or from an external GPS that is paired from your mobile device). You can also set the location manually if you prefer.
The record will also collect data such as the timestamp and the user who created it.
Step 3: When you are back on a reliable network, simply click the sync button to push the new data to the cloud.
Now the information you collected offline is available to the rest of your team!
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