by Stephanie Miles
Published on 15 May 2013
When it comes to data collection, paper is passé. To conduct surveys, collect customer feedback, and perform internal audits, smart executives are putting down their clipboards and pens, and picking up their mobile devices. Datafield is an application that capitalizes on this trend, providing businesses and other types of organizations with a streamlined method for data collection in the field.
In this Datafield review, I plan to evaluate the platform. I'll be paying close attention to the web-based platform's data collection and surveying tools, and I'll be looking at how those tools can be implemented by small businesses and professionals in the retail, sales, auditing, construction, real estate, exhibition, government, advertising, insurance, and legal industries.
Datafield unshackles its users from the restraints imposed on them by more traditional methods of paper-based data collection, and gives business owners and managers a way to involve stakeholders in their everyday workplace decisions. Business professionals can create mobile surveys that are instantly formatted for smartphone users, allowing them to collect data and opinions from anyone, anywhere, in real-time. The Datafield mobile application is available on Android, iPhone and iPad.
Surveys can be prepared from scratch or using one of Datafield's templates, and forms can be composed using any combination of open-ended question and multiple-choice answers. Surveys can also be designed to include questions that involve media rich content, GPS location information, and photos. Responses are received by the form creator in real-time, and they can be segmented by the respondent's location, profile, photos, or other useful factors.
Busy professionals can use Datafield to prepare mobile surveys, collect internal information, manage remote teams, and gather the results of the data they've collected. What truly makes Datafield innovative and unique is the platform's mobile angle. The surveys and polls that users design can all be launched on smartphone devices, giving users the freedom to collect information from respondents who aren't necessarily inside the office or sitting in front of a desktop computer. No internet connection is even required with their advanced offline mode.
After preparing a mobile survey - composed of several questions, and possibly protected by password to prevent responses from unauthorized participants - a user can publish his campaign at will. Surveys designed for corporate use should be dispatched to specific field agents via email, while surveys designed for public use should be made available to anyone who has been given access to a company's survey tag.
The results that a Datafield user collects are available immediately upon deployment of a survey. In addition to collecting text data, which can easily be extracted as a .csv file, users can also collect photos, GPS locations, and other personalized information to better understand responses from survey participants.
Datafield offers businesses an innovative way to collect opinions and data from employees, customers, and stakeholders located in-person or across the globe. The web-based platform is useful not just for creating surveys and polls, but as a way to keep a close eye on remote operations, manage internal audits, and conduct investigations into offsite operations. Not only can companies ask smartphone respondents for text responses, but they can also use Datafield to collect photographic evidence. This is especially useful in mystery shopping expeditions.
Businesses that use Datafield for public polls are more likely to collect a high number of responses, in part because the polls and mobile surveys designed with Datafield are actually fun to take. Participants can respond to any surveys they've been sent using Datafield's mobile app. Research has shown that response rates increase when businesses make it easy for participants to take part, and Datafield's interactive mobile app publishes surveys in a way that is both stylish and accessible.
Retailers have also reportedly been using Datafield as a registration tool, giving them a chance to collect customers email at check-in and customer's feedback at check-out, thanks to their appealing smiley question.
Click the "Create a new form" button to start designing your first mobile survey. Give the survey a title, and then start adding questions. With Datafield, you can ask questions in multiple formats, including single choice, multiple choice, text, date, and yes/no. You can also get panel information from respondents, allowing you to segment responses by gender or location.
When you're done designing your survey, it's time to launch your mobile campaign. Chose whether to make the survey public or corporate (i.e, private), and enter a start and end date for collecting information. Once you've launched a public campaign, anyone with your tag will be able to access your survey or poll using Datafield's mobile application.
Manage your campaign from the Datafield dashboard page, keeping track of the number of responses you've gathered in real-time. Replies can be segmented based on certain filters, like gender or location. You can also decide whether to edit, modify, duplicate, delete, or stop your survey before the pre-determined end time.
Detailed information about Datafield's functionality is available through Datafield's FAQ page. Datafield also publishes an informative blog with additional information about mobility as well as useful tutorial and screencasts.
Datafield offers pay-as-you-go pricing, making it easy for business users to quit the platform at will. Pricing ranges from free (for up to five mobile surveys per month, with 20 MB of storage space) to $199 (for up to 50 surveys per month, with 10 GB of storage space). All plans come with an unlimited number of mobile users.
Datafield is an excellent platform, and it offers users a reliable, effective way to collect all different types of business information. By utilizing mobile technology for data collection, companies are able to gather secondary information (like GPS location, for example) in addition to the answers to any text-based or media rich questions they're asking participants. Any information that's collected through Datafield is available in real-time, and poll creators have the option to extend any survey they've published in an effort to collect even more responses before the final deadline.
Ratings: ease of use 4/5, features 5/5, value 5/5 and ease of deployment 4/5