by Rakesh Sharma
Published on 27 August 2013
Remember those Greenpeace activists on the street with clipboards? The proliferation of mobile devices may change the way they work. This is because with feedback management apps, using mobile devices, you can collect and process feedback immediately.
This week we will look at Mobile Forms - a solution that enables you to get feedback from people using mobile devices. In this Mobile Forms review, we will look at its features, interface, and see how it can be of use to you.
Dusan Babich and his co-founder had extensive experience creating and writing mobile apps. However, they noticed that most business apps relied on data gleaned from user activity to differentiate themselves from other, similar products in the market. In other words, their platform relied on product data from the field. "Creating a product and platform seemed the natural thing to do in progression," he says.
According to Babich, the solution is targeted at any organization that currently uses a combination of paper and Excel to collect data on the field. He says there are multiple use cases for such users in the field. For example, the solution can be used for work orders, inspection forms, audits and any time you need to collect structured data. Small businesses have much to gain from using Mobile Forms, according to Babich. He advises small businesses to take one or two forms that represent 80 percent effort in capturing, transcribing and important data and replacing them with digital equivalents.
Not only do they reduce effort, they also make streamlining your processes using pre-built integrations with email, PDF, Google Drive, and Excel. This might sound like a simple and evident improvement but Babich says it is a vital one.
"Don't build unnecessary complex systems on day one when something simple will immediately yield big improvements over the current manual process that consists of pen and paper," he says.
Although it can be used in a consumer setting (read out on the street), Babich says mobile forms, ideally, needs to run on a device operated by an organization's employees or contractors. This is because it has strong authentication capabilities. It is not a web-based technology and the app integrates with GPS, camera, and works completely offline.
It is fairly easy to work with the solution. It consists of a form-based input. Clicking on the New Form icon on the solution's homepage launches the form's designer. Using this form, you can enter fields or type of input (whether image or decimal), options (or, simply CSV). There are several form definitions available in the solution. Each definition consists of multiple features, question types, and expense claims. You can add connections to third party services (such as Google Drive spreadsheets for expense claims).
I like the idea of integrating forms with mobile devices. However, what really clinched it for me was the solution's integration with other applications in the cloud. For example, I can already see a situation in which I export data gleaned from customer surveys to Google spreadsheets or some such application.
Babich also told me that they plan to increase the number of integrations. In the future, he said the application would be able to integrate with popular cloud applications such as Drive, Box and DropBox.
Mobile Forms is an excellent and new way to capture customer data and put it to good use.