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Elaheh Eghbal

By: Elaheh Eghbal on January 8th, 2015

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NGOs Rock 'n' Roll with iFormBuilder

Data Management | Project Monitoring | international aid

Collecting data in remote, disconnected locations can be a difficult task, especially for NGOs.

Traditionally, paper based forms opened the door to multiple data entries, creating long lags between when the data was collected and when it was available, and transcription difficulties when entering handwritten notes into the master system. This ultimately leads to bad and/or expensive data. NGOs have found Zerion to be extremely helpful by allowing individuals and teams to automate their data collection process, capture data in offline environments, eliminate subjectivity in how data is captured, and transcend what they could do with paper forms. Adding photos, capturing location information, and integrating data with existing systems results in better data. Discover why NGO’s love Zerion!

1) Hardware Integration: Take Your Workflow To The Next Level

We love hardware! Zerion has integrated with industry grade hardware to extend the data collection abilities for field teams. Scan barcodes using the integrated Manatee Works® widget or use external devices by Infinite Peripheral or Socket. Improve GPS accuracy with Bluetooth devices like Dual, Badelf or SXBlue II devices. Capture temperature with the ETI BlueTherm™ temperature probe or print Zerion records directly to a Zebra®printer. Or, use NODE+ and its suite of interchangeable sensor modules allow you to easily capture IR temperature, Climate, CO2 and OXA reading. All seamlessly integrated into the platform.

2) Offline Capabilities: No Connection? No Problem.

From the beginning, Zerion assumes offline for your teams, allowing essential data to be captured with or without an internet connection. Whether your teams are on iOS or Android devices, field teams are able to capture data in a disconnected environment, store the records securely on the device and then sync data from the device to the cloud (or ThunderPlug) once a connection is available. No Connection? No Problem. Seriously.

3) Data Integrity: Who, What, When and By Whom

Every time a record is collected with Zerion, the platform captures the user information, time and date stamp and location information including latitude, longitude, altitude, speed and compass direction via the Metadata. This information improves data quality by not leaving it up to the user to collect this data, but instead capturing data in the background of the device. NGO’s are able to identify who, what, when and by whom records are captured. This information validates each and every record in the field and provides vital data for Monitoring and Evaluation teams to report on impact and sustainability of data captured in the field.

4) Go Beyond Forms: Rethink How Field Teams Capture Data

Some NGO’s view paper data collection as an activity that gets filed away “just incase” it needs to be used in the future. The checklist, baseline surveys, the household surveys and inspection sheets all get submitted and then put in the old filing cabinet. With Zerion, you can bring your workflow to life! Once a record is submitted and synced to the cloud by a user on their device, it is immediately accessible in Zerion.com! The platform offers Data Views, Data Feeds, POST and Scoring. The different types are listed below.

  • Views: List, Map, Graph, HTML, Excel or Excel Flat, PDF Export.
  • Feeds: Excel, Excel Flat, JSON, RSS and ATOM.
  • POST: XML or JSON. By assigning a POST URL to a form, submitted data can be posted directly to a dashboard or an existing backend system or reporting engine.
  • Scoring: Customize option lists weighted value to implement scoring into reports!

For deep integration, Zerion has a powerful API for developers. The API provides the ability for bidirectional data to be pulled from an existing system and populate Zerion and even assign the forms to specific users. Power users are able to automate every part of their workflow even the form building process via the API.

5) Secure Data and Element Encryption

If security is a priority for your organization, have no fear! The Zerion databases are encrypted at many levels from the local database to the home server. The database administrator is able to control all user accounts and give permission as necessary, allowing teams to have access to specific forms. Zerion works with many government agencies, healthcare institutions and some of the worlds largest organizations and we have met or exceeded their stringent security standards.

6) Fanatical Implementation Support: World Class Projects Require World Class Support

We love making projects come to life. Our support and implementation teams are available to help troubleshoot issues, build and optimize forms, streamline data collection, and plan your next project deployment. Our team is fast and agile and currently supports projects in over 125 countries. Some groups even turn all of their support and training over to our support team providing a smooth and consistent delivery of content and troubleshooting. We also offer around the clock help desk and chat support for all project needs.

Check out these posts to see how Living Water International and The Hunger Project use Zerion!

The Hunger Project uses iFormBuilder



About Elaheh Eghbal

Elaheh Eghbal is the Marketing Manager at Zerion. She is an adventurer, photographer, furniture builder, and wannabe foosball pro. If you have any questions about this post or just want to say hi, she would love to hear from you!

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