Accountability Means Better Data: Here’s Why
By talking with customers, we often realize unexpected benefits and use cases that come with our mobile data collection tools. Sometimes, we hear about benefits that are even more valuable than we thought they might be, that come to light once our platform is put to use.
Recently, one of these benefits has been brought to our attention - in fact, it’s become central to numerous conversations with customers and potential customers: accountability.
The Data Collection/Accountability Link
We like to think that the data collected in the field is as accurate as possible; multiple tools enable this by removing room for common errors. But, there’s still something that’s hard to avoid without the right technology: intentional user misuse and/or inaccurate reporting.
Sometimes this happens due to overlooked tasks and overall “busy-ness” in the field. Certain fields need to be filled in on location, but, they could be forgotten. Or, specific temperatures weren’t read when they were supposed to be (the misuse varies by industry). Whatever the case, a team member - whether a specific data set was forgotten or intentionally ignored - could remedy the situation by creating a false reading, or filling out a form after the fact.
The problem is that any time this scenario plays out, the overall dataset becomes inaccurate and less reliable. When false information is added to a report, any number of negative effects - from the potential to food contamination to unsafe work sites or false test results - could result.
What’s the Solution?
How can you ensure this isn’t happening in your field - whatever it may be?
The answer is simple, really: metadata.
Here’s what that means. Using the right solution - like iFormBuilder - specific metadata is collected automatically whenever a new record is created. This includes time, date and GPS coordinates (for specific location). This information cannot be manually modified, meaning your team is able to verify each piece of data created, to be sure it was collected where and when it was supposed to be.
It seems simple enough, maybe even simple enough that its value is overlooked. But, the potential benefit is great: when specific data that cannot be modified by the field user is collected with each record, the accuracy of an overall dataset - along with organization-wide accountability - increases exponentially.
Where does your data stand today? Can you be sure that is accurately collected? Is there room to increase accountability standards within your business or organization? If so, we’d love to talk. Use the chat button below to get a conversation started, or start a free trial today.