Tips for Selecting Data Collection Hardware.
People collect data all the time but we live in times where data corruption and loss can happen within the blink of an eye which is why you should be prepared on ensuring that it does not come to this unless you want to do the extra work of having to backup everything on paper.Electronic data collection is much faster and easier to store than using print media. However, you have to do it in a smart manner. It is okay to use tablets, smartphones and even netbook computers. However, have in mind the screen size of the device you are using. Instead of the respondents having to keep scrolling one question after the other, get a large screen and they can do this quickly. When the questions are being answered, the memory of the device will be getting filled up. It might reach a point where you cannot feed more information on the device when the memory is full. It is good to bring additional storage just in case things do not go as expected.
Take note of any features that will be of help to you. If you will be taking photos, ensure you have a good camera on the device you are using. If the interview will be recorded, you need data collection hardware with good microphones. It is good for you to take GPS measurements into consideration if this is needed. Many of the electronic devices you will find will be running on batteries which means you ought to have a way of recharging them. You need one with a long battery life if the field you will be working at has no electricity. Power backups like power banks for smartphones, laptops and even tablets are a great option for you if you do not want power failures in the process.
You should confirm that the device supports the language and font you ought to conduct the survey. Do not assume anything even when the device models you are using are similar. It is good to test the devices on environments which are similar to what you will be working on. You need to know that hardware and software are correlated. There is particular software for every hardware. Therefore, the software you will be using in the data collection process should be supported by the hardware you will be using. Think about the money you have for the process too because there is no use buying expensive devices when it is clear you cannot afford them.