Benefits of using digital forms for data collection

The use of digital forms will help your company to reduce costs, streamline business processes and improve efficiency.
The ability to collect and analyze data effectively is increasingly important to businesses. Companies gather, examine, process and build reports on large volumes of data. Traditionally, they have deployed mail surveys, telephone interviews, door-to-door interviews as methods to collect information. With the ongoing digitalization, these procedures have become old fashioned.
The digital transformation is changing many business operations at a high speed and a great deal of processes that were executed manually are now accomplished using digital methods. Technology has had a major impact on how to approach data research and has provided researchers new tools that have transformed and improved data collection and analysis. The pace of change requires companies to be able to react quickly and adapt themselves to changing demands from customers and market conditions.
Entrepreneurs are always trying to maximize their resources, optimize their operations and make their businesses more profitable. To achieve that, they must find efficient methods to collect data and turn it into usable information. Managers need to understand high volumes of data to make the right decisions. By using digital data collection methods, they can obtain results in a faster and more accurate manner than manual information processing.
What is a digital form?
Over years forms have been used for invoice management, financial reporting, administration of human and legal resources, work orders (inspections, audits, etc.), purchase orders (wholesalers, warehouses, etc.), service orders (maintenance, guarantees, quotations), and production orders (multiple lines, inventories), among many other uses.
Traditionally, forms were delivered by post or handled by a researcher that was going through the questions. This process was a major hurdle. The first challenge was reaching the right people and encouraging them to fill out the questionnaire. After that, businesses had to deal with massive amounts of data waiting to be classified, processed and evaluated.
By using digital forms, all that can be skipped and businesses can obtain their yearned insights in a faster and simpler way. Digital forms are electronic versions of paper forms that can be filled out on a computer or on a mobile device and have advantages over traditional paper forms because it allows businesses to collect data and obtain results in a swift and accurate manner.
How digital forms can help your business?
Time and cost saving
Using digital forms instead of paper forms has a significant impact on time and cost saving as printing, storing, and distributing costs decrease or disappear.
Businesses spend a significant amount of time and money organizing and assembling their input data manually. Administering and transferring information collected through paper based surveys is a troublesome process. With automated data collection they don’t need to spent time and resources on manual data entries because software will automatically identify, select and process data. Without the need for back-end form data entry and processing, you can also reduce personnel requirements and drive down operational costs. On average, the use of digital forms represents a saving of 11 hours of work per week.
Digital data can be easily and inexpensively stored, copied and backed up saving your business money and time.
Massive reach out
The distribution process also becomes easier. Digital forms can be delivered to thousands of prospective respondents through e-mail platforms or social media networks. This is a big bonus in a setting where time is considered a precious resource and achieving insights in smaller timeframe can keep you ahead.
Improve effectivity and data accuracy
Digital forms can auto-populate fields based on prior data entered and validate field-level data before submission. Digital data collection also eliminates entry errors and the issue of data lost in transcription. Furthermore, you can track username, geolocation, time and save that information instantly.
Data gathered using digital forms is more accurate and complete than data collected through paper forms, because the digital process reduces significantly manual errors, discrepancies or loopholes and all the labor burden associated with manual processing procedures.
Real time reports
Paper processes cannot show you what’s going on in real time and you need to wait longer to obtain an outcome. With a digital platform, you have access to the data as soon as it is submitted and uploaded to the server. Such insightful information can enable your business to generate reports that will be proactive rather than reactive and improve your operations at a faster pace.
Digital forms also give you the flexibility to modify the survey based on the real-time feedback.
Time to go digital
Data collection deploying digital forms is a step into the future because it facilitates data collection, entry and analysis, providing more accurate outcomes within a shorter time frame. This method has numerous advantages over the traditional process and has the potential to replace paper-based data collection in the field.
Digital forms are also mobile-optimized, updated in real time, and accessible by multiple parties, eliminating unnecessary meetings and emails.
If you have a business and still haven’t used digital forms to gather information, now is the time to take a step ahead and embrace digitalization.

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About the author

Sandra Melo
Sandra Melo

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