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Guidelines for good data collection

Posted by on March 7, 2013 in FAQ, Guides, News

Consider how you want to process your data afterwards

  • Do you need to be able the search in dates – then add a date-field
  • Is the GPS position enough or do you need a text-field with name of town or select list with regions in a country
  • Think about what is your unique field to find data again

Consider what fields you want to make required

  • Is it possible to collect all the data in the form for the user in the field – If not avoid using too many required fields
  • If you want a KML og georss feed then must the GPS-field be required
  • If you want to setup a feed and use fields as tags, then you must make them required

Avoid wrong entries on the Smartphone

  • Guide the user through hints – e.g. is the length in meters or centimeters
  • Try to avoid situations where you get numbers and text in same field
  • Do you want e.g. first name last name or last name first name – or two different fields collecting both?
  • Use limit for minimum or maximum in the form builder
  • Set in a default value that explains – be aware that it can be send if the user leaves the field unedited

Try the form yourself

  • Try to put yourself in the role as data collector
  • Run a week pilot or test-collection on a selected group of people and get their feedback afterwards. Many ideas and improvements in the forms can’t be thought of before trying.

Do you have a baseline to compare your data with outside your organisation before a project?

  • Go out and see if you can find other data sources – e.g. are you setting up latrines then see if you can get data from waterborne diseases from a nearby hospital