You’ve probably heard about the benefits of artificial intelligence. AI not only has myriad business applications, but its use in autonomous electric vehicles and distributed energy grids, for example, can help us save the planet. Perhaps less well known, but also important, is how a data collection app is useful for social good.

Scroll down to find out how data capture technology benefits people and planet.

Five reasons why a data collection app benefits people and planet

1. Capture data remotely

Remote data capture software such as a data collection app provides a secure, intelligent way for aid workers to collect information without a signal. Its online-offline capability means you can capture data wherever you are, whatever the situation. The data you collect then syncs automatically with the cloud and your back-office systems when connected to the internet.

This means you can accurately capture quantitative and qualitative data from the frontline – in an easily shareable format. This might range from images and document scans, through to complex first-hand accounts or simpler details such as age or height.

Decision makers in other locations can therefore easily access data from the frontline, which would previously have been inaccessible or inaccurate. They can use such up-to-date information to shape policy, drive decisions and redirect support, aid or advice.

What’s more, a data capture app benefits from the availability and portability of smartphones. It also leverages more industry-specific products such as 'tough pads', and legacy hardware – so you don’t even need the most recent model. Individuals and organisations can, therefore, capture data in the harshest and most remote corners of the globe, from deserts to jungles.

Use a data collection app to capture data in the most remote corners of the globe

A data collection app can capture data in all corners of the globe.

For more on how data capture benefits people and planet, see these inspiring examples of data collection techniques from around the world.

2. Defend against data breaches

A good mobile data collection app will utilise enterprise-standard encryption to protect against system intrusion and data loss. This will help you and others to avoid data breaches. You can therefore share data securely between processing hubs – from device to cloud to CRM system and back again – over all internet connection types.

A data collection app helps to protect your company from data breaches

What’s more, user hierarchies and bespoke GDPR permissions within the app will help you to avoid other breaches too. This might include someone accessing, altering or sending information to the wrong person without permission.

3. Cut down on waste

If you’re attending an event or exhibition, a data collection app avoids the need to produce or transport marketing materials (and discard the inevitable surplus).

What’s more, you can capture leads in seconds with a business card scanner rather than having to collect them on paper. And the ability to create custom forms also eliminates unnecessary paper usage.

Ultimately, a data collection app requires nothing more than a smartphone to function, which is already there in your pocket. Downloading the app gives you yet another use for your phone, transforming it into a customer-friendly engagement tool that, unlike some new technologies, produces no extra waste.

Last but not least, where you host the data you collect is important too. Some data centres leverage innovative design and operations, such as adiabatic cooling, to reduce carbon emissions and environmental impact.

Project Natick even saw Microsoft lower a 40-foot long data centre to the bottom of the sea north of Scotland. Its aim is to use the sea’s chilly waters as a natural cooling device, reducing the energy needed for data storage and consumption.

4. Improve the consumer-business relationship

Did you know that 54 per cent of people ranked trust in their top three considerations for data exchange?

A good data collection app helps people because it enables businesses to provide a better, more transparent, experience for customers. In line with the principles of the GDPR, it includes positive opt-ins as standard, and built-in permissions statements and centres. What’s more, the person capturing data is also identifiable, meaning each data subject can trace who captured their data.

This provides an opportunity to create a consumer experience built on trust and transparency, and to give consumers control over their data. It’s also an opportunity to be more rigorous with the data you collect. And improved data accuracy means better marketing practices, and an improved consumer-business relationship.

For more on this, see our blog on GDPR compliance with Gather Pro.

5. Connect with people more easily

Technology often gives us a reason not to speak to one another. A data collection app, however, has the benefit of bringing us closer together. Put simply, it encourages face-to-face interaction because it requires a person to use it with another person.

Boundless used Gather's data collection app to rebrand

With the ability to scan in multiple languages, a data collection app can help to break down language barriers. This also provides an opportunity for data capture to reflect local customs, cultures and preferences. Other applications, such as easy event check-in and brand research, help to bring people closer together and better understand one another too.

For more info on this, see Maximise the customer experience at your event.

Why not see how Gather’s smart, secure and easy-to-use data collection app works for yourself?

Start your 7-day free trial.

Take the first step towards valuable data

With our Data Capture app and Data services team on offer we provide all the tools necessary to unlock the value in your customer data

Get in touch

Stay up to date with Gather