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Tuesday, November 19, 2013

Choosing the Best Mobile Data Collection Software Solution

This post should really be titled, what makes the best mobile field data collection software for your business?  What features do you need to run your business more efficiently? Some software programs collect time and attendance; others collect forms, while some attach pictures and notes to files.  Before we get started answering that question, it is important to take a look at what your business needs are and then find a system that will be a complete solution and not just a partial answer.  The solution should not only collect information, but manage, document, and integrate the information as well.


Collecting data from the field shouldn’t be a chore.  The software you choose needs to be simple to understand and easy to use.  Systems using new technologies such as smartphones, laptops and tablets have made tracking time and attendance relatively easy.   Employees can clock in and out, choose tasks, and even job hop using these devices.   A good system will have security, such as biometric readers or pin code entry, that help to eliminate “time theft” and “buddy punching.” 

Using new technologies makes collecting all types of field data simple.    What type of information does your business need to see in order to make decisions?  Do you need to collect information on equipment?  Weather conditions?  Safety forms and paperwork? Can the software you are looking for do that? 


Tracking your mobile workforce is a priority to many businesses.  Knowing your workforce is on the correct job site and doing the correct tasks makes managing a project successful.   Does the software have GPS tracking available to show you where your employees are at when they clock in and out? Is there a way to track what task they are working on during the day?  Can the software track how much of the task was completed?

This type of information is powerful and is needed to make critical decisions.  Knowing your employees are at work, on the correct job-site, and behind schedule lets you make adjustments before small issues become big problems. 


Documenting accurately is your best defense against job site liability claims.  Providing paperwork, notes and pictures showing conditions are safe, and hours are accurate can save your business money.   Lawsuits, false injury claims, angry customers and excessive payroll can all cost your business money.  Make sure that the software solution you choose can capture and organize all of the important information you need to keep your business safe. 


Managing mobile field data is a huge job. With multiple projects, the information can be overwhelming.  Finding a software solution with great reporting tools can make this daunting task achievable.

Managing a project On-Demand may be the single most important aspect of a mobile data collection software solution.  Having the ability to look at a job and know exactly where it stands.  Comparing labor budgets against hours worked lets you know immediately if you are behind or ahead of schedule.  Making adjustments to a task the moment a discrepancy is noticed, instead of at the end of the week, could be the difference between making money or losing money.


What good does it do to have all this amazing information if it can’t be integrated with your accounting or job-costing software?  The whole point is to do away with the countless hours of data entry and filing while providing real-time information to decision makers.  Finding a mobile data collection software solution that integrates with your accounting or job-costing software should be a top priority.  


  1. You can't manage what you don't measure!

  2. Thanks for excellent information I was looking for this information about computer programs.

    Thin Clients & Zero Client

    1. Glad we could help. AboutTime works hard to provide informative information for our industry.