A paper form is any paper with spaces (name fields or placeholders) that requires information to be provided by writing or selecting. It can be a single form or series of forms with similar contents. The form can be a Cheque, survey form, questionnaire, registration or application form, and so on.
A form provides guiding information or instructions on how to complete it. When information is provided on a form, it is submitted for further processing or distributed to different departments within an organization for data extraction in a processing system and the physical copy is archived for references.
For many years, paper forms have been accepted as a means for data capture for surveys, research, invoice management, financial reporting, administration of human and legal resources, orders, among many other uses in different organizations. With the advent of digital forms, paper forms are becoming a thing of the past, and digital forms are changing the way we capture and analyze data.
The advancement of technology, especially mobile devices, and form builder platforms have given organization into data capture (survey, research, inspection, etc) the opportunity to transform from the use of paper forms into dynamic electronic forms to save time and money and capture data from different locations, seamlessly.
In the past, forms were distributed by post or handled by field officers (Agents) that were going through the questions. This process was a major obstacle. The first challenge was reaching the right people and at the right time, even more, encouraging them to fill out the questionnaire or survey with the right information. After that, businesses had to deal with massive amounts of data waiting to be classified, processed using word processing tools like Microsoft excel to re-enter data before reporting and analysis could be done, which required a lot of manpower, time and resources depending on the size of the data and the time the forms were been sent back from the various location to the central office.
Nowadays, paper forms might seem less important than they used to, but they are still very much a part of our lives and used by organizations today to capture data. It is convenient, but that convenience comes with a large ecological cost and implications.
The cost associated with printing and storing paper forms is a hurdle on its own, asides these additional challenges;
Deforestation today cause more climate change emission than transportation. The Earth loses 18.7 million acres of forests per year which is equal to 27 soccer fields every minute, according to the World Wildlife Fund (WWF). A forest the size of Wales is needed to supply paper used in the UK every 2yrs. Can you imagine the number of trees that will be required to create paper forms for more countries per year?
Some Paper Facts:
A digital form is an electronic replica of a paper form created with a form builder tool for data collection. Digital forms eliminate the shortcomings of manual collation, increase business efficiency and can be filled anywhere. Filling forms electronically on your computer or mobile devices eliminates the costs of printing, storing, and distributing paper forms.
Digital transformation is changing many business operations at a high speed and a lot of processes that were executed manually are now accomplished using digital methods. Technology has had a major impact on how to approach data collection from different location base using digital forms and has provided data collectors with new tools that have transformed and improved data collection and analysis. The pace of change requires companies to be able to react quickly and adapt themselves to changing demands from customers and market conditions and implement new strategies of acquiring data from customers and from different location in real-time. All these are far from possible with paper forms.
The ability to capture and analyze data effectively is increasingly important to businesses. Companies gather, examine, process and build reports on large volumes of data. Traditionally, they would have deployed mail surveys, telephone interviews, door-to-door interviews as methods to collect information. With the ongoing digitalization, these procedures have become old fashioned. Now data can easily be acquired from different locations by mobile agents equipped with digital forms.
Digital forms allow for connectivity using device cameras, GPS, USB OTG connections, Fingerprint scanners, thermal printers, etc. all to acquire more complex data. Other solutions go the extra mile to allow data to be successfully captured offline.
Who Should Use It?
Digital forms are suitable for every organization in different industries that needs to collect data — to register KYC details of customers, for biometric data collection, for public or operational activities, or a government agency interested in capturing nationwide census data, health institutions that want to capture diverse medical data, security guards or inspection officers, the list is endless as different organization captures different types of data.
Here are some questions for you…
Would you like to contribute positively to climate change? Did I hear you say yes? Would you like to save yourself and your organization the stress and financial losses that paper forms promise? Then you are ready to move from paper to digital form.
You have read the many benefits of digital forms, now is the time to achieve complete digitization with BioRegistra
BioRegistra’s form builder allows organizations to quickly shift from paper forms to electronic form — transforming, customizing and managing all customer-facing and operational forms in a central database— to be accessed by agents from anywhere and at any time even offline.
Start the journey today by signing up on www.bioregistra.com and convert your paper forms into smart digital forms to save your organization time, money, improve your work efficiency and create a better customer onboarding experience.
Are you, or your organization passionate about data? collecting it? collating it? verifying it? analyzing it? then you are the kind of people we write for. Follow our publication, and you would gain knowledge on everything data, from the process of easy capture to the end goal of making data-driven decisions. Find out about our company SEAMFIX and how we solve big organizational issues with third-generation solutions HERE.
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