Guidelines for good data collection
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