There are lots of different reasons why you need to collect data as a business.
When you record data, you support the information you’re supplying to customers with evidence. You can use the information you gather for market research, to make more informed decisions, to answer questions more credibly, and to produce more high-quality content, products, or services that better serve your customers.
As for being an agency, the biggest reasons why you’d collect data would be to help your team come up with creative solutions that solve your clients’ unique challenges.
So making sure you record data is essential but collecting data can be very time-consuming. What are the best methods for collecting data that make it easy?
Here’s a list of the top five best data collection tools we recommend. These software tools not only automatically collect data for you, but can also create helpful graphs, charts, and figures that are populated in real-time. Some are better for mass data collection while others are better suited for collecting client data.
Collect data from clients easily
Content Snare is a data collection tool that helps you gather content from clients in one simple dashboard. Just create a request for what you need, send it to your client, and watch as the content rolls in!
What Are Data Collection Tools?
Data collection tools, data collection forms, data collection apps, or data collection software are tools that help you collect and store data.
The data collection method you use really depends on what type of data you need and what you’re going to be using that data for. We’ll get into that more in a bit.
What Makes a Great Data Collection Tool?
When evaluating data collection software, ideally you want to look for a tool that collects data from a variety of sources easily, organizes data logically, is easy to use, and is convenient for all users.
A tool that collects data is great, but you need one that does a good job at addressing the complex issues and headaches that come with data collection. It’s no good if you have a tool that helps you collect data, but then does nothing for you when it comes to keeping the data organized to help you find what you want when you need it.
Good data collection software goes above and beyond just collecting and storing qualitative and quantitative data for you. When choosing your data collection app, look for unique, interactive features that will help you automate your workflow. You also need to decide whether you need an online data collection tool that relies on Wi-Fi or one that can function offline without it.
If multiple users are going to be using or interacting with your data collection app (like your clients), then you want to be sure your data collection software is a breeze for them to use too. No point if they can’t figure out how to use the tool!
Top 5 Best Data Collection Tools
Here is our list of the top five best data collection software tools.
1. Forms on Fire - best for digitizing forms
When it comes to easy and effective ways of collecting data, Forms on Fire kills it as a software. Forms on Fire is an entirely cloud-based tool built to digitize forms to help you streamline your workflow and data collection process.
Here are some reasons why we like Forms on Fire:
- You can work online or offline, on a desktop, or in the downloadable app
- Its drag-and-drop features are very easy to use
- Its form designs are aesthetically pleasing
- It easily captures analytics and generates reports
- It has over 750 advanced integrations that can send or receive data efficiently between systems such as Microsoft, Google, Amazon, Dropbox, and more
- It comes with real-time notifications
- It lets its users define its workflows to suit what they need.
2. GoSpotCheck - best for gathering field data
GoSpotCheck is one of the best data collection tools out there for businesses that depend on gathering field data. It collects data in real-time and analyzes it instantly to help users complete tasks right then and there.
Benefits of GoSpotCheck as a data collection form include:
- Easy to use mobile data collection app
- Built-in content distribution that makes sharing information with the rest of your team easy
- Ability to capture photos and provide ready analytics to your market
- Automatically populated charts and graphs to give you the statistics you need fast
- API/Integration ready
- Field-first CRM to keep up to help you keep up to date account information.
3. Repsly Mobile CRM - best for customer data
Repsly Mobile CRM is a cloud-based field management tool that works well for small to medium-sized businesses in a range of industries. Repsly makes data mining in the field easy and effortless.
Additional benefits of Repsly Mobile CRM include:
- Detailed and easy to access customer history
- Fully-customizable mobile forms
- Real-time visibility when it comes to order management
- Location, communication, and mileage tracking
- Advanced scheduling features
- Field data automatically gets turned into detailed reports.
4. Fulcrum - best for mobile data collection
If you’re looking for a mobile data collection tool, Fulcrum is the way to go. The data collection app helps you quickly design custom forms and conduct field data collection right on an Android or iOS app. Unfortunately, Fulcrum isn’t free but the subscription plans are affordable.
Benefits of Fulcrum include:
- Extremely easy to use
- Requires little to no training
- Both the app and the web-based data collection versions allow you to collect real-time data in the office and on the job
- Ability to collect and input data both online and offline
- Data can be accessed in real-time, allowing for faster decision making
- Collect signatures, and capture video, audio, photos, and barcodes
- Easily sync to the cloud.
5. Zonka Feedback - best for customer feedback
Zonka Feedback is great for collecting and analyzing survey data in regards to customer satisfaction. You might use it to analyze customer interviews or online surveys.
Some benefits of Zonka Feedback include:
- Provides customizable customer satisfaction surveys and evaluation forms that are fully flexible to your brand
- Forms and surveys can be completed through desktop, iPhone, iPad, and Android devices
- Analysis happens immediately, providing interactive reports that you can use in real-time
- Choose from pre-made templates or customize your own
- Over 20 question types are available plus skip and question branching
- Feedback can be completed in person or through survey kiosks
- Multilingual forms
- Feedback can be captured without Wi-Fi.
6. Content Snare - best for client data
The above tools and data collection methods we’ve mentioned are better suited for collecting mass data. If you’re looking specifically to collect client data then Content Snare is the way to go.
It’s a tool that helps businesses like marketing agencies and accountants gather different types of data like files, forms, images, logos, and videos from other entities.
With Content Snare you can:
- Collect form responses including both qualitative and quantitative data
- Gather large files like images, logos, videos, and photos
- Set up a request to send to clients, easily asking for what you need
- Send automatic emails to clients to remind them to complete the request
- Organize requests according to client projects
Collecting data or documents can be a very time consuming and messy process without data collection tools. Having good data collection software is key to keeping valuable information organized. Whether your business is large or small, there’s a great tool to provide you with exactly what you’re looking for.