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Mobile Data Collection Applications

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Background

Many organizations have developed applications that work on top of the Open Data Kit platform, and these applications have made it easier for organizations to create surveys and collect data. In this section, we will cover how a number of these applications, including Ona.io, CommCare, SurveyCTO and Kobo Toolbox vary and which would be the best decision for your organization.

XForm and XLSForm Standards

All of the applications use a common XForm standard, meaning that data sharing across systems and organizations can be unified. By using the XForm standard, groups are able to integrate their data across organizations with ease. Further, these applications also use the XLSForm standard, which is easier to author than raw XML. By using XLSforms, you can create your surveys in a spreadsheet such as Google Spreadsheets or Microsoft Excel and implement them with any of the platforms covered in this section.

Dimagi – CommCare

Dimagi is a private social enterprise that has a portfolio of products for humanitarian aid. Specifically, CommCare is the organization’s offline-enabled data collection and team management application. If your organization is looking to adopt a case management system to see change over time on certain individuals being surveyed, CommCare would be the best solution. You can find out more information about CommCare here: https://confluence.dimagi.com

SurveyCTO

SurveyCTO is a reliable, secure, and scalable mobile data collection platform for researchers and professionals working in offline settings. It includes a central repository for both blank and filled-in survey forms and a website to assist you in designing, testing, reviewing, and managing your surveys. It also provides a universal web interface for users filling out forms online, an Android app that data collectors use to fill out forms on their Android phones or tablets, and a built-in data monitoring and visualization tool that enables you to quickly review your data. You can find out more about SurveyCTO here: https://www.surveycto.com/

Ona.io

Ona.io allows for you to author forms that capture GPS, error validation, logic, repeats, signatures, photos and much more. Then you can use your forms on smartphones and desktops — with or without a data connection. Data is automatically uploaded when a connection is detected or you can upload it to your computer. Form authoring is done using the popular XLSForm standard. You can find out more information about Ona.io here: https://ona.io

Kobo Toolbox

KoBoToolbox is a suite of tools for field data collection for use in many different environments. The software is free and open source. Most users are people working in humanitarian crises, as well as aid professionals and researchers working in developing countries. You can find more information here: https://www.kobotoolbox.org

 

Mobile Data Collection Applications Comparison Table

Feature
CommCare
SurveyCTO
Ona.io
Kobo Toolbox
Lowest Cost

Pricing pages:

CommCare

Enketo

SurveyCTO

Ona.io

Kobo Toolbox

$250 per month for Standard Version with unlimited form creation and mobile support $198 per month for unlimited form creation and 5000 form submissionsFree for 10 form creations per month and 500 submissions For researchers: Free for 10,000 submissions as well as 5GB file uploads per user per month.

For humanitarian orgs: unlimited submissions and uploads per month

Form CreationForm Builder Interface or upload XLSformForm Builder with XLSForm InterfaceUpload XLSFormKoboForm Interface with XLSForm format
Google Play Store Application for Offline Data CollectionCommCare ODK v2SurveyCTO ODK CollectKobo Collect, however connecting to ODKCollect is more reliable
Mobile Optimized Offline Data Collection through the BrowserNot AvailableAvailable Free using EnketoFree using Enketo
Integrated Offline Desktop Data CollectionPremium using CloudCareAvailable Free using EnketoFree using Enketo
Form LibraryCommCare Exchange Application LibrarySurveyCTO Server pre-build surveysForm GalleryUses a Question Library instead of a Form Library
Case Management with Two-Way Data Sync to mobile devicesAvailableAvailable Not availableNot available
Export FormatsXLS, CSV ZIPCSV, Excel, Google Earth, Google Docs, XLS, ZIP, KMLXLS, CSV, ZIP, KML, SAV ZIP, CSV ZIP, Google docs, XLSXLS, CSV, ZIP, KML, SAV ZIP
API AccessPremium PremiumNo information Free
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