Why Small Businesses Still Struggle with Data Collection

By keith bateman on November 5, 2013

Surprisingly, many small businesses today still struggle with their data collection process. The reason being is paper!

Paper is still widely used among small, mid-sized, and large businesses all across the world. From Bombay to Boston, businesses use paper for inventories, safety inspections, even time cards. Still, this process bogs businesses down, especially small businesses from further growth. Worse, it allows paperwork to take up your time and money.

Check out these three reasons small businesses struggle  with their normal data collection process and how mobile apps can help.

1) Recording information in the field with paper is slow! – With paper, time slows down to pre internet days of slowness. It can take hours or days for a worker to bring a paper form back to the office. Then, there’s extra time you need to take for data entry (everyone’s favorite task).

With mobile apps, you can fill out information more quickly. Drop down value lists and checkboxes with just a push of a button. You can also auto-populate fields for your workers as well.

2) User error! With paper there is no “magic delete button” or “Submission Editing” – Most times users either have to scribble out errors, or even forget to fill out fields. Then someone has to track that person down to figure out what they wrote down! Not only are you having to squint and struggle to figure out what’s the right information, but also spending extra time to figure out what you’re missing too!

Mobile apps erase all of these issues. Chicken scrawl vanishes with typed text. Errors are removed with the mobile app doing the math. Typed something in wrong? You can go back and edit it later. You can also make fields required, so you’ll get all the data you need.

3) Can your paper collect all that?– What data do you collect on paper? Inventory? Equipment issues? You may have calculations and photos, but it’s a lot harder on paper. Plus, you have to lug extra equipment with you. Mobile apps can give you all of this and more, including time stamps, GPS and signature capture. Clipboard, pencil, camera, and calculator versus your smartphone, which would you choose?

Interested in learning more about mobile apps. Check out our ROI calculator and see how much your organization could save with digital data collection!