What Is Mobile Data Collection?

Jan 7, 2019

Mobile Data Collection

Many companies are still caught up in the "paper chase." Field staff collect data, mountains of it, on paper forms that need to be manually reviewed and entered as electronic records. This common business practice creates potential problems with maintaining data integrity and equals hours of effort spent doing mundane data entry.

Mobile data collection (MDC) is the process of collecting business data from the field digitally using mobile devices such as smartphones and tablets.

Field workers who would traditionally collect data on paper via pre-printed forms now enter it directly in to mobile applications, greatly reducing the opportunity for error and improving the efficiency of your workflow.

This method of data collection is growing in popularity as it also greatly reduces the time spent on data entry and record management. Digitization is being further fueled by workers' increasing comfort level using mobile devices and applications. Globally, 205 billion mobile apps were downloaded in 2018 and that number is expected to reach 258 billion by 2022.

Benefits of mobile data collection:


As business needs evolve, mobile data collection enables you to update your processes quickly by instantly publishing new forms and procedures. You can also improve your operational intelligence by incorporating rich data such as GPS location tracking and photos.


Reduce hours spent reviewing, validating and entering field data by instantly updating records on a central database right from the point of collection. Systems that allow two-way communication are even more powerful because they enable office staff to push records and notifications out to the field, while field workers can look up previously submitted records from their devices. This responsive capability enhances workflow efficiency.


Digital mobile forms improve the quality of your data by providing validation criteria to check that inputs are correct, before a form can be submitted. No more chasing down staff to explain missing or illegible entries. Features like skip logic and reference data further diminish possibilities for human error. Ensure the system you choose allows for offline use if your workers enter remote or no-service areas.

Lower Cost of Ownership

Removing the need to manually check and re-enter data greatly increases the productivity of field and admin staff, resulting in significant labor cost reductions. Once records are digitized, there are also no more physical forms to order, distribute, track and store.

Real-Time Insights

MDC enables management to review field data live in dashboards that provide a snapshot of key performance indicators. This provides increased control over operations as trends or errors are instantly apparent and corrective actions can be launched with a click.


If your company engages in any type of field data collection, digitizing your process will improve your performance and provide significant ROI. There are a variety of ways to implement a mobile workflow for your team, as solutions can be custom built or bought off the shelf.

Flowfinity allows you to customize your own mobile field data collection applications, without having to write any code. You can leverage the power of digitization without the cost and complication of coding while enjoying the flexibility of an enterprise grade workflow solution.

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