[teaser]Let’s face it, some days we all wish a few more hours could be squeezed out of the workday.[/teaser] The to-do list seems to never end and you car is one of the last in the parking lot. The good news is that there are tools and tactics that can be used to give time back to you and your field teams.
At any given time, a utility company may have hundreds of field technicians completing inspections, filling out surveys, and fixing problems. Often, these inspections are tedious to complete and require a bit of post-processing. This can result in hours, days, and maybe weeks until the final report is ready and accessible. If there is an error and the data analyst needs the field technician to reassess something, the project report has just been delayed again.
Do you find yourself saying “There has to be an easier way”?
Well, there is. Just like mobile devices changed the world of phone communication, a mobile device will change your world of data collection and, perhaps, beyond collected data. A mobile device will allow your field technician to submit information as soon as they complete the form. It will allow them to take pictures that are related to the inspected area, draw on the images, scan bar codes, and so much more. If an error occurs, reassign the form to the proper field tech and they can make the corrections in an instant. The best part is that all of this can be done without wi-fi or a data plan.
Field Inspections Just Got Easier
Rest assured your hardware or software can be integrated with iFormBuilder. Everything from barcode scanners to data visualization can be used with iForm and your collected data.
A water facility monitor must have the tools to identify where problems are in the system and how it can be improved. Inspectors use iFormBuilder to keep an inventory of resources and using a combination of text-based forms, supplemental documents, and images. By building dynamic forms, teams can keep all of the necessary information in one location. Supplemental information such as images or notes can be incorporated directly into the form, eliminating the need for extensive post-processing.
Some data collection apps require you to know exactly how many times you will need to collect information before you are in the field. What happens when you realize that you have five spaces for images but actually need to take six pictures? Or, perhaps a water quality inspector needs to respond to the same questions multiple times at the same site. iFormBuilder’s subforms are what make the platform user-friendly and more robust than any other data collection platform. The one-to-many relationship allows data collectors to take as many pictures or fill out as many forms as necessary without having to determine the need in advance.
When inspection teams need to capture GPS information, sensory data, or scan barcode information, iFormBuilder is there. Easily integrate with devices like SXBlue, BadElf, and Dual GPS devices to improve the location accuracy of your mobile devices, NODE for various types of sensory data, and Socket Mobile for 1D and 2D barcode scanners.
Integrating with ArcGIS Collector enhances the mapping aspect of your mobile data collection projects. You can build a custom solution using the Esri ArcGIS Collector App, the iFormBuilder Esri Connector, and the Esri widget in Form Builder. However, visualizing the mapping information is just the first step. Watch this video to see a custom workflow and the power of iFormBuilder and ArcGIS Collector.
Cut Down on Data Processing, Increase Accuracy
Once data has been collected, and you are ready to cleanse the records, you can do so by selecting the records within the iFormBuilder web portal. Field teams no longer need to submit paper records to a data entry specialist and project managers can easily view and analyze the data. Data visualization tools like Klipfolio or WebMerge can be used to visualize data that may otherwise be difficult to process.
It is safe to say that mobile data collection for field teams will be one of the best decisions for your project. With the time saved, and quality enhanced, the iFormBuilder mobile platform is an obvious choice.
About the Author
Elaheh Eghbal is a Customer Success Specialist at iFormBuilder. She is an adventurer, photographer, furniture builder, and wannabe foosball pro. If you have any questions about this blog post, she would love to hear from you! Email Elaheh at firstname.lastname@example.org. [divider_top]