Marketing is another field that has been conducting surveys since its inception. And where there is a field survey, there is bound to be a survey method and survey data collection. In the good (!) old days, that would have almost certainly been synonymous with paper questionnaires, unreadable scribbles and tireless hours spent compiling all the information collected into some sort of actionable report. In the age of software, things can, thankfully, be processed in a very different way.
3 essential elements in field surveying
Starting from the beginning, any field survey will, by its very definition, need field workers, who will adhere to a specific survey design in order to collect field data. Examples of survey methodology in the market research sector would typically include a questionnaire of form to be filled out by the worker. While we wait for drones to become omnipresent, there is definitely a role to be played by clever software that can make field surveys more agile.
In good field operations management fashion, software can play a key role in connecting people, processes and technology.
Basic requirements for field surveys: reliability and flexibility
Over the last few months we’ve had the chance to build a tailored solution for a client looking to optimise their field surveys. Our client’s tactical division have a team of field users that they need to dispatch to locations across Ireland, in order to capture survey data on behalf of their clients. They needed a solution to tackle vast amounts of data from the field in a safe and reliable way.
Their primary requirement was for a smart data capture tool that could validate data on entry to avoid mistakes and reduce the need for manual data cleansing back at the office. They were also aware that any software solution they might choose could not be overly rigid: while they conduct numerous surveys on behalf of their own client’s, requirements are updated and changed on a regular basis.