Blog Post

Benefits of Data Capture Apps & Digitising Field Data Capture

Written by Lee Glynn
March 31, 2024
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Stay in the loop:

These are the main Benefits of Data Capture Apps and why you should be using digital forms and digitising field data capture.

No code mobile data collection apps are transforming how companies and researchers handle their collected data – digitising field data capture is now the norm for businesses that want to succeed. We have the research on low code trends to prove it! Unlocking the potential of field information and gathering data with a mobile data capture app (or mobile data collection app as they’re sometimes known) with your phone or tablet has major advantages that can’t be ignored – let’s look at some of the main benefits, how you can instantly start collecting data with a business app you can build yourself in days and how forms2 customers have successfully implemented data capture apps within various industries.

TL;DR: Key Takeaways

  • Data Capture Apps have revolutionised data collection, providing an easy way for businesses to improve their data capture processes and transforming mobile devices into valuable tools in the field.

  • Customisation options, digital form building tools and offline data collection capabilities are key features of the best data capture apps that enable users to create tailored digital forms for their specific needs.

  • Real world applications result in cost savings, improved processes & better decision-making. Switching to paperless processes & IoT integration means efficient data management across a tonne of industries.

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The Rise of Data Capture Apps – And Why YOU Need Them!

Data collection (correctly known in this instance as data capture) has been revolutionised with the emergence of low code platforms that allow you to create an app with digital forms you fill out instead of paper versions. This transformation provides efficient and streamlined methods for capturing, managing, and reporting vital information needed to evaluate projects or tasks, budget computations, assign jobs sheets accurately and quickly share data and reports. The list goes on.

What does a data capture app do?

The features included in a typical data capture app range from robust form builders that let field teams capture data in a digital form and collect field asset info as well as providing users the capacity to monitor or edit collected field data accordingly through API integration -even while out on location due to wif-fi or network signal like 4G (or 5G for the lucky ones!)!

What’s more impressive is that these apps can be deployed not only on regular iOS, or Android phones, but industry-specific gadgets like CATs, iPads and more – ultimately transforming them into an ideal high-tech portal for all your offsite digital gathering needs – mobile-based collections, some people call them. Gone are those old days when pen & paper was our main source material… nowadays field dteams in a vineyard, down a mineshaft, on top of a water tower and on a plane to Hong Kong have reliable go-to alternatives right at their fingertips! Switching to paperless processes has its benefits (Interlink)

5 Benefits of Using Data Capture Apps

The main benefit of a digital data capture app and the difference between paper, is that they are more reliable, you can use media capture, GPS location and electronic signature capture. Best of all, the mobile app can instantly transmit data to your back office for online storage. With offline data capture enabled by these applications, users can continue gathering information without an internet connection and even carry out necessary data editing tasks from the field itself, with the forms2 platform, as soon as you get an internet connection, your app automatically updates. This ensures precision in collected data.

These awesome platforms like ours here at forms2 also grant you instant access to handy online tools like Google Maps, or Bing thanks to an API connection. Need to know the weather? We’ve got you covered with weather app connections. Need precise location data? Say hello to What3Words integration. Want to connect with your other tools? No problem, they’ve got API connections. All these features supercharge productivity across various industries while making workflows feel like a breeze.

Plus, here are five killer benefits of data capture apps specifically for those hardworking field operatives out there collecting data:

  1. Efficiency and Accuracy: Field operatives often have to deal with vast amounts of data, which can be challenging to manage manually, and we all know paper gets lost. Data capture apps streamline this process, ensuring accuracy and eliminating the need for manual data entry, which is prone to errors. This means field operatives can focus more on their core tasks, increasing their overall productivity.

  2. Real-time Access: Field operatives need to make quick decisions based on the data they collect. Data capture apps provide instant access to this information, allowing for immediate action. This can be critical in situations where time is of the essence, like during emergency response or critical infrastructure maintenance, or Lone Worker Protection.

  3. Mobility: Field operatives are often on the move, collecting data from various locations. With data capture apps, they can capture data anywhere, anytime, without being tied to a specific location. This mobility greatly enhances their ability to collect and manage data efficiently.

  4. Integration: Field operatives often need to work with other systems or platforms like Azure, SQL, AWS, Google BigQuery and more. Data capture apps can easily integrate with these, allowing for a seamless flow of data across various platforms. This can greatly simplify the data management process for field operatives, making their work more efficient.

  5. Customisation: Every field operation is unique, with its own specific data collection needs. Data capture apps can be customised to fit these specific needs, making them extremely versatile. Whether it’s capturing data in specific formats, adding media capture capabilities on your digital forms or integrating with specific systems in your tech stack, these apps can be tailored to meet the unique requirements of each field operation.

The Role of Mobile Devices

Mobile data collection apps, loaded onto mobile devices such as smartphones and tablets, are integral when it comes to the implementation of data capture applications in the workplace – everyone knows how to use an iPhone or Android phone! These tools enable users to record information on-the-go without fearing any potential damage or loss due to them being digital in nature – we know paper can get lost. There’s a tonne of benefits to switching from paper to digital forms.

Data collection apps for mobiles can also be used so teams have access collected data across various platforms – an effective way of gathering and monitoring detail rapidly & accurately from multiple locations within different industries (GPS trackers, sensors or even beacon technology). With this sort of application at their fingertips, businesses have great flexibility regarding how they handle collecting data. If you’ve got your mobile on you, you can collect the data.

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Key Features You Should Look For In Data Capture Apps

Want to know what to look for in a data capture app?

Data collection apps with offline capabilities, customisation options and form building tools are essential for many tasks and they’re the most common requests we get during our onboarding process here at forms2. They enable users to design custom forms, according to a specific purpose or industry, capture data in various formats accurately without relying on an internet connection.

Offline Data Collection

Workflows can change quickly, internet can drop off – it happens, so being able to keep up with continuous workflows is a must for any business where data is paramount to success. Offline data collection provides the ability to capture information without needing an internet connection so there can be no interruptions in productivity. By saving collected data onto their mobile device and syncing it when reconnected online, users are able utilise features such as required fields, media capture and GPS location! The forms2 no code app building platform offers direct editing of attributes from data in the field, which allows teams greater ease while reviewing and updating info instantaneously with real-time sharing capabilities – all resulting in smooth transition of data between colleagues effortlessly regardless if they’re offline or not!

Customisation and Form Building

Data collection forms must be tailored to a project or industry, allowing for optimal data capture and management. Fortunately our platform and digital forms are completely customisable. For instance, our form-building platform offer customisation of text fields, numeric inputs, select lists, photo uploads and eSignature requirements among other options. Required fields enable managers to make some input mandatory while others can be skipped if needed – all contributing towards creating bespoke digital forms that perfectly meet each user’s needs thus improving the process through better decisions based on accurate captured information.

Industry-Specific Applications for Data Capture Apps

Data capture apps have been widely adopted across various industries, including environmental research, construction and infrastructure. We know because we’ve helped hundreds of companies set up their low code data capture apps with case studies to prove it. These applications enable professionals to effectively collect and manage data in order to optimise operations, detect potential issues more easily, monitor projects with precision while simultaneously improving overall productivity. They’re really handy no matter what industry you’re in!

Here’s some examples.

Data Capture Apps for Environmental Research

Data capture apps have become increasingly essential in the world of environmental research by allowing for prompt and accurate data collection in natural environments. By providing a reliable solution offline data capture, these applications ensure researchers can collect more precise data than traditional methods like paper, leading to better insights and improved decision-making.

The features like form building, customisation options as well as offline capability that come along with these apps enable field surveys to be completed at greater speed and accuracy, even when an internet connection is unavailable. With the added convenience they bring, it’s no wonder why such solutions are indispensable aids used for collecting necessary information needed from out within nature itself!

Data Capture Apps for Construction and Infrastructure

Data capture apps have become essential for construction and infrastructure professionals as they optimise efficiency, safety, accuracy, and real-time data collection – they also speed up toolbox talks in construction too. Mobile devices are key components in this sector as health and safety managers might need to get to multiple locations – so carrying folders is not an option! TD Construction Testing rely on our platform to access field information remotely with online access to updated info when they need it. Need to know who’s on a job, what tools required, what the weather is going to be like? Data capture apps are ideal in a fast paced construction world.

Data Capture Apps for Facility Management

In the realm of facility management, data capture apps are transformative. They can be utilised to monitor equipment status, track maintenance schedules, and manage space allocation. By capturing real-time data, facility managers can ensure optimal utilisation of resources and maintain high operational efficiency while improving relationships with clients and landlords.

Digital forms can be used for routine inspections, maintenance requests, and incident reporting, making it easier to track, prioritise, and resolve issues in a timely manner. You can also set automated reminders for health and safety checks so you’re always compliant.

Data Capture Apps for Agriculture Industry

In agriculture, specifically in vineyard management, data capture apps can be instrumental in tracking vine growth, monitoring weather conditions, and managing pest control. These apps allow vineyard managers to collect and analyse data quickly and accurately, leading to more efficient farming practices and improved grape yields. Digital forms can be customised to record specific data such as soil pH levels, grape maturity, and disease incidence, providing valuable insights for vineyard management strategies. Check out some of the benefits of using digital vineyard management apps here.

Data Capture Apps for Hospitality Sector

Data capture apps have proven to be a game-changer in the hospitality sector, particularly in camping and outdoor recreation businesses. They can be used to collect and analyse data on customer preferences, facility usage, and service quality.

This data can then be used to enhance customer experiences, improve service delivery, and optimize facility management. Digital forms can be used for tasks like guest check-in, facility inspections, and customer feedback surveys, significantly reducing paperwork and enabling staff to focus more on customer service.

A prime example is the European Camping Group, which slashed paper use by 77% and saved €277,000 per year by implementing forms2 for their data capture needs. Read the digital forms and data capture app case study here.

Tips for Choosing the Right Data Capture App

Well, our customer testimonials and data capture apps case studies speak for themselves – we’re easily one of the best data capture app platforms around!

Choosing the best data capture app may seem daunting, but really understanding your specific needs and gauging compatibility with existing systems and programs can make the decision-making process a bit easier – or you could just speak to our platform specialists!

Let’s look at understanding your needs…

Understanding Your Needs

Before you dive into choosing a data capture app, it’s crucial to figure out what you need from it. You want to make sure it’s the right fit for what you’re trying to achieve. Understanding the type of information you’ll be collecting and the conditions of data collection will help you decide if an app ticks all the boxes for efficient data capture and access.

When deciding on a data capture app, take a good look at each tool’s features to make sure it can do what you need it to do or just see what we can do for you here. Consider things like how easy it is to access the collected information and how it connects to systems you already use. After all, you want to make sure using the app doesn’t turn into a chore. A smooth and easy-to-navigate app will be a lifesaver down the line.

  • What’s Your Goal?: Get clear about what you want to achieve with the data capture app. Are you aiming to make data collection a breeze, improve accuracy, or get real-time access to data?

  • What Kind of Data Will You be Collecting?: Figure out the type of data you’ll be gathering. This could be anything from plain text and numbers to pictures, signatures, and location data.

  • Where Will You Be Collecting Data?: Will you be gathering data in the office, out in the field, or a mix of both? This will help you decide if you need features like offline data capture.

  • Any Integration Needs?: Think about what other systems or platforms your data capture app needs to play nice with. This could be CRM systems, databases, or other business applications.

  • Is It User-Friendly?: The app should be easy to use, making sure that your team can get the hang of it without needing a PhD in rocket science.

Make sure your data capture app has decent integrations!

When you’re on the hunt for a data capture app, it’s super important to check out the integration options. You want to ensure all your data buddies can hang out together and you can access them easily across all your platforms via connecting mobile forms to an API and tech stack. Think about the kind of data you’re juggling, and all the systems you need to get on board. And don’t forget about security! You want to keep all that valuable data locked up tight.

Checking all these things ensures you can use all your tools and systems effectively and keeps your data reliable no matter where you are in your organization. And hey, we’ve got a bunch of cool integrations to choose from, like What3Words, Google Maps, and even Zapier! Check them out here: forms2 Integrations.

Success Stories: Real-World Applications of Data Capture Apps

Our client testimonials and data capture app case studies are real-world examples of the power and versatility of data capture apps in different fields, such as manufacturing, healthcare and construction.

For example, TD Construction Testing reduced its administrative tasks by 80% with forms2 digital forms implementation leading to annual savings of around £30,000. While European Camping Group experienced a yearly benefit of almost £300K thanks to mobile form utilisation. Companies are able to better their decision-making processes and reduce costs due to accurate information collection while helping serve their customers better thanks to effective project management via digital forms. Check out our data capture apps case studies here.

Future Trends in Data Capture Technology To Be Aware Of

We made a survey on no-code trends you should read!

Our survey on low-code trends and low code platform statistics in 2023 highlighted the increasing popularity of low-code/no-code solutions and business apps in various industries like Construction, Service Sector, Health Care, Consulting, Engineering, Manufacturing, and Agriculture.

Looking ahead, it’s safe to say that the future of data capture is pretty exciting. We’re talking about going totally paperless, more and more no-code solutions, and even IoT integrations that can scoop up real-time info for all sorts of industries. These trends are shaking things up in the best way possible, making data collection, management, and analysis more efficient and accurate.

Take construction sites, for example. We have data to say the construction industry is going digital with their field data collection, which means they’re better at keeping track of compliance standards and safety practices, and inspections and toolbox talks are a breeze.

Healthcare services are also getting in on the action, with no-code solutions that are saving them a bundle and allowing them to export data to better serve their clients. And it’s not just them – businesses across the board, from engineering consulting services to manufacturers, are reaping the benefits of these advances. With all the tech advancements we’re seeing, we’re pretty sure the future’s going to be even brighter when it comes to handling data.

Check out the low code and digital forms trends and statistics for 2024 here.

worker using digital forms for field capture in construction site


Data capture apps have totally changed the game when it comes to collecting and storing field data across various industries. They come with some pretty cool features like offline collection capabilities, form creation tools, and customisation options. These low code solutions give businesses a boost in managing data accuracy and efficiency in their operations, while also opening up new possibilities for gathering information on-the-go thanks to digital data capture forms. Ready to jump on the data capture app bandwagon, enjoy the benefits of data capture apps and max out your field data gathering efficiency?

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Frequently Asked Questions

What is a data capture app?

Data capture apps enable people to capture information from their mobile devices (smartphones, tablets or iPads) without the need of an internet connection, a great advantage for those who wish to acquire data offline and while travelling. They can be sometimes known as a mobile data collection app. They help you collect field data using mobile forms that automate the data capture process and provide streamlined, reliable data analysis as they connect to your tech stack.

How secure is my mobile data capture app?

At forms2, we prioritize the security of your mobile data capture app. We employ a range of safety measures to ensure the protection of your data. This includes secure cloud hosting, data encryption, and strict access control measures. We also provide regular security updates to keep your app safe from potential threats. Furthermore, we follow the best practices suggested in our blog post on reducing safety concerns of low-code/no-code apps. For more detailed information, you can check out this blog post: Reduce Safety Concerns of Low-Code/No-Code Apps.

What is mobile data collection software?

Mobile Data Collection (MDC) is a method of using phones, tablets and PDAs to accurately record data, which brings advantages to those performing evaluations. It provides the opportunity to collect information quickly and efficiently via mobile technology.

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