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When you call 911, what’s the first question they ask you? 

What is your location?

Knowing where you are — and being able to share that information quickly — is crucial to getting the help you need in a timely manner. 

Location matters. Not just in emergency situations, but in nearly all aspects of our personal and professional lives, from the most mundane decisions (which route should I take to work?) to the most pivotal (where should I buy a house?). 

And when it comes to mobile data collection, knowing where things are can be every bit as important as knowing how they are.

The importance of location in mobile data collection

Location data is fundamental to making informed business decisions, big and small, whether you’re choosing where to build your facilities or conducting regular maintenance processes that keep your operations humming. 

Say, for example, you’re in the electric utilities sector: How often should your crews conduct vegetation management? 

It depends on where they’re located.

Are they situated in a dense forest, where frequent pruning is needed? Or are they in a tidy and arid urban center, where trimming is only occasionally necessary? 

Knowing the geography of your utility poles enables you to schedule maintenance at appropriate intervals to prevent trees from growing into or falling onto your transmission lines, which can cause power outages — or worse, wildfires — and cost your company millions (or billions) in fines. 

And in the moment — when your team is already in the field — the ability to access location data quickly is critical. 

Say a service interruption does occur. How can you dispatch the right crews to restore power in a timely manner if you don’t know where they are? 

If you’re collecting data with pen and paper or using fillable PDFs in the field, you have no way of knowing where your teams are at any given moment. 

Every record is automatically geo-tagged in Fulcrum so you can see your teams' location and progress from anywhere.

Record location data automatically with Fulcrum

With Fulcrum’s mobile data collection and workflow automation platform, location information is baked into everything you do. 

Every record collected in Fulcrum is automatically geolocated, so you can see on a map which areas your crews have already covered, what jobs are yet to be done, and where they have completed their most recent work. 

This way, it’s easy to see not just where your teams are at any given time, but quickly visualize if some are lagging behind, and if others are free (and nearby) to lend a hand. 

Your crews can generate and send inspection reports directly from the field that show the location of the equipment (along with photos and any other relevant information), or you can create dynamic workflows that automatically inform stakeholders when certain events take place, including their location. (For example, if an inspection reveals a hazardous situation, you can automate an email or SMS message to alert a supervisor that immediate action is needed.)

You can also upload custom map layers into Fulcrum so the information your teams need — such as property or municipal boundaries — is at their fingertips, even if they’re not connected to WiFi or cellular service.

Whether you’re dealing with an emergency or everyday business operations, knowing where things are happening enables you to respond to them faster, saving precious time, money, and even lives.

The Fulcrum Guide to Location-Based Data Collection

Learn how to create a data collection survey that provides insights into field operations with location information.
Download the ebook

About the author

Sam is the content marketing specialist at Fulcrum, sharing product and industry news with our users.

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