You are currently viewing Three critical support considerations when choosing a mobile data collection tool

Get the customer support you need for mobile data collection with the right platform

You want to design the best possible surveys and workflows to effectively deliver services, measure your organization’s impact, track inventory, monitor programs, and more. But there are a lot of challenges that come with mobile data collection – especially if you’re working in low-to-middle-income countries (LMICs), remote areas, or conflict zones. 

The challenges you may incur are multifaceted and often not easy to quickly resolve – whether that’s collecting data offline, struggling to get in contact with survey subjects, network issues, or data security concerns. Even seasoned research teams struggle with these issues – and those new to mobile data collection work even more so. This is why it’s so important to choose a mobile data collection tool that has your back when it comes to customer support.

Here are three areas of support that are crucial to ensure your team gets the guidance and assistance needed to drive your research forward without wasting time and money in the field due to support issues.

Mobile data collection support should be responsive and global

Mobile data collection often requires significant resources and budget. This means every delay – whether it’s due to technical issues or workflow issues – can be costly. So, getting a prompt response to any support issue is crucial.

For example, a study on survey costs published in the Journal of Survey Statistics and Methodology notes that 19.8% of interview costs are spent on tracing. If enumerators encounter challenges with GPS data accuracy, which is essential for mapping households accurately during surveys conducted in rural or densely populated areas, and it becomes challenging to trace those they need to survey, project costs can increase. 

Similarly, issues with network connectivity, which are quite common in mobile data collection, can lead to delays in submitting the data. Data submission delays can impact the quality of the collected data because it prevents users from promptly identifying and addressing any issues or errors in the collected data. Delays in data submissions may also result in a backlog of data waiting to be uploaded, increasing the risk of data loss or corruption if devices malfunction or data becomes inaccessible before it’s transferred to the server. 

Given the risks involved in not getting these types of support issues resolved quickly, research teams can’t afford to wait days to get a response to a Helpdesk ticket. Having a support team that operates globally and offers rapid assistance, regardless of time zone differences, is essential for keeping mobile data collection costs down, ensuring the quality of the data, and enabling enumerators to be productive and efficient in their work. At SurveyCTO, we offer global, 24/7 support with an average response time of one hour.

Support reps should be experts with the tool and research best practices

2 friends using the phone in the township in Africa

Having access to a support team that is not only proficient in the technical aspects of the tool but also well-versed in research best practices can significantly enhance the data collection process. Stock IT support that resolves the technical issue but doesn’t go beyond to consider whether the process a team is using aligns with best practices is a missed opportunity.

At SurveyCTO, our support team is comprised of experts on our platform, capable of addressing a wide range of form design issues and troubleshooting any technical challenges that may arise during the data collection process. But, our support team also understands the intricacies of survey research and the complexities of data collection workflows, allowing us to offer tailored guidance and recommendations on how to best optimize your research project for success. 

Whether it’s recommending the most suitable question types, providing guidance on structuring forms for optimal data capture, giving advice on how to capture video and voice data to make uploading that data to the network easier when bandwidth is limited or suggesting workflow improvements, our experts are dedicated to helping researchers make informed decisions throughout their data collection journey. By leveraging our support team’s expertise in research and data collection best practices, research teams benefit from valuable insights and strategies to improve data quality, increase efficiency, and achieve their project objectives more effectively.

Mobile data collection support should go above and beyond

Mobile data collection is complex and costly. When considering your mobile data collection tool, you want more than just a tool – you want a partner in your success. 

At SurveyCTO, our mobile data collection support goes above and beyond to ensure your success. For users on Enterprise accounts, we provide customized subscriptions that can include in-person trainings, either online or face-to-face, tailored to your organization’s specific needs. Additionally, our partner program offers even more training options, connecting you with SurveyCTO experts who can provide hands-on assistance and guidance. They’ll work with you to leverage SurveyCTO’s features, including data quality-promoting tools, advanced data publishing workflows, and monitoring systems tailored to your specific requirements.

We also offer a wealth of online learning resources and user-friendly product documentation to support your learning journey, including an onboarding course with five comprehensive modules that you can complete at your own pace. These modules cover everything from the basics of the platform to advanced topics like form design, data collection modes, monitoring data collection, and exporting and publishing data. Upon completion of the course and passing the final knowledge assessment, you’ll receive a certified certificate of completion.

If you have any questions or need additional assistance beyond the course, our dedicated support team is here to help. You can reach out to us via email, submit questions in the course forum, or request guidance through a support request. Whether you’re a trial user or a paid subscriber, we’re committed to providing the support you need to succeed.

Empowering mobile data collection with expert support

Young African man uses his computer at the market.

Mobile data collection support plays a crucial role in ensuring the success of any research, monitoring, and evaluation efforts, particularly in challenging field environments. At SurveyCTO, we understand the unique needs of researchers, monitoring and evaluation professionals, and program administrators working in remote or offline locations. That’s why we’ve built a robust support system designed to exceed expectations and empower our users to collect the highest-quality data with confidence.

Whether you’re a seasoned researcher or new to mobile data collection, SurveyCTO is here to support you every step of the way. Request a demo or start a free trial to see how SurveyCTO is different from other mobile data collection tools.

Better data, better decision making, better world.

Melissa Kuenzi

Product Marketing Associate

Melissa is a part of the marketing team at Dobility, the company that powers SurveyCTO. She manages content across SurveyCTO’s external platforms, publishing expert insights on best practices for high-quality data collection and survey research for professionals in international development, global health, monitoring and evaluation, humanitarian aid, government agencies, market research, and more.

Her background in the nonprofit sector allows her to draw on firsthand experience as a user of software solutions for the social impact space to bring SurveyCTO’s tools for uncompromising data quality to researchers all around the world.