by Ofe Ivharue
The ability to collect and analyze data effectively is increasingly important to businesses. Companies gather, examine, process and build reports on large volumes of data. Traditionally, they set up mail surveys, telephone interviews, door-to-door interviews, face to face conversations, and paper forms formats as methods to collect information. With the ongoing digital transformation—this is changing many business operations at a high speed and a great deal of processes that were executed manually are now accomplished using a digital approach.
Forms were commonly delivered by post or handled by a researcher going through the questions. This process was a major obstruction. The first challenge was reaching the right people and encouraging them to fill out the questionnaire. After that, businesses had to deal with massive amounts of data waiting to be classified, processed and evaluated. By using digital forms, all that can be avoided and businesses can obtain their yearned insights in a faster and simpler way. Digital forms are electronic versions of paper forms that can be filled out online and have advantages over traditional paper forms because they allow businesses to collect data and obtain results in a swift and accurate manner. Digital forms give you the freedom to access forms anywhere from around the world.
Digital forms can auto-populate fields based on prior data entered and validate field-level data before submission. Digital data collection also eliminates entry errors and the issue of data lost in transcription. Moreover, you can track username, geolocation, time and save that information instantly. Data gathered using digital forms are more accurate and complete than data collected through paper forms because the digital process significantly reduces manual errors, inconsistencies or loopholes.
The distribution process also becomes easier. Digital forms can be delivered to thousands of prospective respondents through email platforms or social media networks. This is a big bonus in a setting where time is considered a precious resource and achieving insights in a smaller time frame can keep you ahead.
Using digital data collection methods instead of paper forms has a significant impact on time and cost-saving as printing, storing, and distributing costs decrease or disappear. Businesses spend a significant amount of time and money organizing and assembling their input data manually. Administering and transferring information collected through paper-based surveys is a cumbersome process. With automated data collection they do not need to spend time and resources on manual data entries because the software will automatically identify, select and process the data. Without the need for back-end form data entry and processing, you can also reduce personnel requirements and drive down operational costs. Digital data can be easily and inexpensively stored, copied and backed up, saving money and time.
With digital data collection, data can be graphed and interpreted instantly. No more calculating manually and exporting data into a spreadsheet because most solutions allow the data to be automatically exported into excel or pdf file. This automation will reduce the time spent in the manual process.
Paper processes cannot show you what’s going on in real-time and you need to wait longer to obtain an outcome. With a digital platform, you have access to the data as soon as it is submitted and uploaded to the server. Such insightful information can enable your business to generate reports that will be proactive rather than reactive and improve your operations at a faster pace.
Data collection deploying digital forms is a step into the future because it facilitates capture, entry and analysis, providing more accurate outcomes within a shorter time frame. Digital forms are also mobile-optimized, updated in real-time, and accessible by multiple parties, eliminating unnecessary meetings and emails.
Realize how much easier the process would be when you never again have to document or deal with damaged or lost documents. Most business organizations stand to benefit substantially by transforming from paper to digital data collection. Now is the time to take a step ahead and embrace digitalization.