Offline data collection is termed mobile data collection in places or areas with no access to the internet or minimal access. Like in remote rural areas with no internet facility or large buildings, the WIFI coverage is again little or slow. Nevertheless, capturing data in offline mode is possible with the help of a few tools. These tools can store data in a temporary mode on an android phone or tablet.
Are Mobile apps capable of capturing data offline?
Yes, mobile apps can capture data in offline mode. These apps are popularly termed mobile data collection apps. It’s just that you will require keeping a few factors into consideration.
Here are some considerations to consider if you know you will be performing mobile data collection in an environment where there is no internet access or very slow and limited internet access. This will allow keeping the data collected offline safe and secured.
Upload the data collected offline as soon as possible
There is always a risk with offline data that it can get lost. There may be several reasons for this to happen. The most common cause is the mobile device getting lost or getting damaged.
To mitigate the risk of data loss, it is prudent to synchronize the data as soon as possible. Set up a standard operating procedure (SOP) for your team in the fields in this regard. This will reduce the risk of data getting lost with periodic synchronization of data.
While uploading all your offline data, look for the fastest internet connection
When uploading all your offline data, check out the fastest internet connection available in your area. If the internet services are good enough, it will take you just a few minutes to upload the same. So check which internet service is best around. There are a few apps that will help you know which the fastest internet connection in your area is
Be careful not to clear app data or reinstall the app
Until the data is synched, ensure that you do not delete the app data in your mobile. This will lead to the permanent removal of the information that you have collected. Do not delete anything on your mobile until the data has been synched.
App developers release updates to their apps periodically. They may be for several reasons. For example, some bug fixes, a new feature release, or an improved user interface (UI) may be. In all such cases, the app is reinstalled on your mobile device. Such reinstallations may delete pre-existing data on your mobile.
Try to refrain from apps that use mobile notifications
Mobile notifications or push notifications enable the app to notify the users without opening the application. They are an excellent tool that reminds users of upcoming task or inform them of completed tasks. This might become a part of your standard operating procedure (SOP). However, in a setting where there is very low or no internet, the notification will not work and may hamper your work.
So, suppose you are in a remote area conducting some fieldwork or at an office where the internet access is slow. In that case, you can now capture mobile data collection. But also consider the guidelines mentioned above. Following the guidelines mentioned above has helped many keep the data safe and secured, which was captured offline.