[…] gather data from anywhere, whether offline or online, and upload it automatically to your centralized Conseris project. Take photos, record voice memos, scan barcodes, submit GPS coordinates, and answer multiple choice and free text questions anywhere on the planet. Then, explore and visualize your data on conseris.io.
Price: free / pro ($25 /month)
Runs offline: yes (connection needed to download forms and upload data)
Last update: Android 18/09/2016 (v. 1.3.14) – iOS 29/09/2016 (v. 1.3.14)
Website of the developer: Kuvio Creative
Conseris is an application that enables you to create in a very simple way a wide range of forms for the collection of field data, also allowing you to analyze and graphically represent information in different formats.
It consists of two distinct parts: the web application, where forms are created; and mobile apps, through which data are collected.
The procedure for creating and collecting information is as follows:
- After opening a user account (remember to verify it via email before entering your username and password), you access a dashboard with different options. On the left side you have several tabs that allow you to access the forms that you have created and shared. On the right side, you have a menu to configure your user account and update your profile to pro, plus a button to open a new project regarding which you design the forms.
- The first step in creating a project is naming it. Once you have completed this step, you have several options:
- Add a description of it, keywords or metadata through the Setup command and the Add metadata button.
- Customize the form by adding the fields you need with the Design and Add new field commands.
- Begin to collect data through the Gather tab (this point is explained in more detail later).
- Access to the collected information through Results or export data.
- Save additional information to the project through the Files option (upper right corner).
- The design of the forms is extremely simple. The platform allows the inclusion of different types of fields: Text input, Multiple choice, Number input, Photo, Location, Linked dataset, Incrementing number, Date, Voice memo or Barcode scanner. The language does not represent any type of limitation, being able to create multilingual forms. It should be noted that the creative team of Conseris is considering including the possibility of recording videos in an upcoming update (the mobile apps are optimized for offline use, so handling and uploading large videos can compromise application agility).
- Once the form is created, in the Gather tab you will see an alphanumeric code that you must enter in the mobile app to download the questionnaire. Once this step is completed, the mobile app is fully operational, allowing the collection of data in offline zones, synchronizing later.
- The data collected can be displayed in different ways (tables or charts). Conseris team is working to expand these visualization possibilities and soon it will be possible to also include annotations and additional images from the own dashboard, allowing the creation of presentations and documents. In the current version there is the possibility of sharing the data through a public URL, giving the option to outside persons without an account to view the data (here you can see an example).
At this point, it must be said that free accounts imply that the data is public, aspect that can be privatized if you update your profile to a payment account. These data will be accessible to anyone from the marketplace of Conseris, where users can make use of data collected by other teams.
Images: Screenshots 30/11/2016. ©Kuvio Creative
The years in which you had to carry notebooks, pencils and pens to collect field data are falling behind as the mobile technology opens a gap within this type of activities, facilitating the compilation and later analysis of the information. These systems, in addition to saving time and effort, minimize the possible mistakes resulting from the transcription from paper to digital format that has been done up to now, thus granting a greater validity to the data and reducing the percentage of error.
Many applications of this type have already been analyzed in Greenapps&web (in this link you can see some of them), but few as easy to use as Conseris. In addition to the simplicity to create the different forms, also highlight other aspects such as the repository for the storage of additional documentation (for the moment, without format or volume limit) or the creation of metadata that can facilitate the search of the projects. Also noteworthy are the different visualization options, a topic in which, as mentioned previously, the Conseris team is working and which it will be updated shortly, according to emails crossed with them in the framework of this analysis. It remains to clarify/improve some aspects such as whether the data exposed in the marketplace will be licensed in some way, if it will enable the interaction of anonymous users through comments or related tools, how to facilitate the import of listings (in *.csv format, for example) or, perhaps, if it would be interesting an option to create new fields from mobile apps (during the field work, occasionally you can find aspects not considered initially which they may interest to record), but at the moment Conseris is presented as a useful tool whose evolution will be closely followed.