gRoamer™

Introduction

Mobile phones are on the verge of becoming powerful tools to collect data on many issues, ranging from global health to the environment. Visualsoft a technology company & R2V a GIS company joins hands together to build up a platform named gRoamer™ that can facilitate government & non government organizations to collect and aggregate the data from the field surveys. Phones running gRoamer™ software can record location in seconds, scan a barcode rather than requiring the numbers to be entered by hand, and upload the data automatically using a cellular or Wi-fi network.

We’ve selected Android an open-source platform for mobile devices which is being widely used by organizations to collect data on the field. This platform allows faster data collection and analysis and help community workers in developing countries to take better decisions.

Why gRoamer™?

A technology based field data collection solution from VisualSoft (Private) Limited. www.visualsoft-inc.com

Invaluable Tool

gRoamerTM is an exceptional technological tool for location based studies, situation analysis and field research. This easy-to-use platform simplifies and facilitates the design and creation of questionnaire and instruments, as well as the collection, management, and analysis of data.

Tablets or smart phones running gRoamer™ software can record geo locations in seconds, take digital photos, conduct an interview, scan a CNIC or a barcode, rather than requiring the numbers to be entered by hand, and upload the data automatically using a cellular or Wi-Fi network.

Paper Free

Handwritten instruments are prone to error during the filling-in, at the stage of manual data entry into a digital format and during data cleanup.

The legibility of enumerator’s hand writing is one issue and then there is the compounded problem of lengthy numeric data fields like the CNIC numbers or the GPS readings being prone to being misread; a misquote here could render the record worthless.

Moreover, paper based records can be lost during transit, destroyed inadvertently or may lose legibility due to misprint. Storage and handling also requires space and safekeeping during the intervention and for subsequent period.

There is also the issue of validity of the data. How do you verify if the intervention actually took place at the specified time and location?

Mobile Technology

Now, imagine using your mobile data collection application to instantly take a picture, then fill up the survey instrument; or scan the CNIC of a disaster affected person for instant validation.

Imagine recording audio notes or video clips and embedding them right in your electronic mobile data collection forms; or using the GPS to precisely record a location.

And then sending the information across the country to your office instantly and accurately.

Think about the increased speed and accuracy of reporting!

This is exactly what gRoamerTM does, and more!

It offers you a Google earth integration, a monitoring dashboard and the ability to send instant SMS or emailed alerts should a certain variable be used as a trigger.

Smart Choice

gRoamerTM processes;

• Textual data

• Numeric data

• Date and time

• One answer

• Multiple answers

• Skip Logic

• Relevance Logic

• Staff Performance Analysis

• Survey Dashboard

• Google Map Integration

• Real time Data View

• Respondent’s photo

• Multilingual data capture

• Location picture

• Video clips

• Audio notes

• CNIC Image

• CNIC Reader (Optional)

• SMS-Email alerts on triggers

• GPS location coordinates

• Flexible User Management & Roles

Flexible

gRoamerTMcan enter forms both when connected and unconnected to the Internet. If used when not connected, the data can be uploaded as independent records when the Enumerators have connectivity.

We’ve selected Android, an open-source platform, for mobile devices which can be used by organizations to collect data on the field. This platform allows faster data collection and analysis and help community workers in developing countries to take better decisions.

Re-usable

Based on optimized usage, the software platform is dynamic and can generate customer-desired multipage forms with ease.

The application runs on Android (OS version 2.1 and higher - models from Motorola, HTC, Samsung, Sony Ericsson, LG, Acer, Dell; Garmin). iPhone and Blackberry compatible versions are now being developed.

The hardware can either be the smartphone or tablets which can also continue to be used for other purposes by the users.

Time Savings

In most interventions, time has great relevance.

The normal process flow for a paper-based field data collection comprises of;

(a) Designing and printing of the instruments, (b) Taking copious notes during field work, (c) Making sure the writing is legible, (d) Separately recording the GPS readings and taking digital photographs, (e) Co-relating these before dispatching the forms to the back office, (f) Sending the instruments to a centralized collection point, (g) Spot checking by field supervisors, (h) Data Entry and Data Cleanup at the back office.

In contrast, gRoamerTM avoids all these conflicts , submits the field data directly to the back office in a Digital format, and more importantly, it’s all on REAL-TIME. The data is available to the planners/sponsors even as the field enumerator has not even left the field location.

Monitoring

Monitoring any field research can be a costly and tiring affair. It takes the planners additional resources and efforts to be able to ensure that the study is undertaken in a manner that conforms to the desired needs.

Moreover, it is common that a study has been sponsored by agencies that are based overseas, and as such, they remain in an information void until all the field data has been collected, processed and handed over.

Through gRoamerTM, Monitoring and Evaluating the intervention is as comfortable and easy as browsing the Internet. The planners, managers and sponsors from anywhere in the world can watch the exercise unfold as and when each of the surveyor posts the data from the field. They have the option to pass-on any instructions, request any re-visit or seek additional information from the comfort of their office or home.

Accurate

Accuracy is a significant features of gRoamer TM

The survey instrument is designed with skip logic and relevance logic so that any unrelated fields are automatically bypassed whereas missing any mandatory field does not permit the enumerator to proceed to the next step.

Because all the process is digital, there is no need for any manual data entry or data cleaning which helps avoid the ensuing possibilities of induced errors during these phases.

Additionally, since gRoamerTM records the geo-positioning (GPS) at the time of each form submission along with digital photographs of the respondents or objects, the accuracy of the intervention is further established.

Finally, as an added layer of reliability, the posted data is projected on Google Earth so the sponsors have better visualization on the geographic coverage of each and every enumerator that has been deployed in the field.

Reliable

The product has been extensively field tested with up to seventy-page survey instruments entered for each interview. Among the demonstrated capacity of gRoamer™ in Pakistan are prestigious projects sponsored or managed by international universities like Georgetown, Berkley etc.

Currently, gRoamer™ based interventions are deployed in Sindh, Punjab and Khyber Pakhtunkhwa.

Networking

As compared to any paper-based field survey, gRoamerTM offers an unmatched comfort of having all the field staff being connected with each other and with their administrative staff at all times.

The strong networked capability is a hallmark of the application and it helps keep tab on the current field location of all the members of the team so that in case of any unusual situation, or emergency, the nearest members of the team can be tasked to reach the position without any undue delay.

While this network is a strategic advantage in the field, the planners have equal comfort of being part of the network and can receive or transmit information during the course of the surveys.

Export Format

Export collected data in multiple popular formats like;

  • SPSS

  • MS Excel

  • MS Access

  • CSV

  • GIS format (.shp)

Moreover, a suitable user defined formats may also be possible to accommodate.

Security

gRoamer™ uses industry proven security protocols like HTTPS, SSL etc. for data safety.

At the server end, the users are provided various levels of controlled access and each and every visitor is tabulated and monitored. The option of deleting or amending a record is disabled so that data sabotage is avoided.

Support

The gRoamerTM team offers full technology support, trouble shooting, as well as, software and hardware integration.

gRoamerTM team also offers its clients the flexibility in the manner of following use of technology;

a) Offering the technology as a software service only

b) Offering the application along with the field hardware

c) Providing a total solution whereby even the field staff is deployed by gRoamerTM team

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