Researchers
August 3, 2020

Utilizing Data Collection Apps To Further Field Research Initiatives

The Digital Era has entered the field of science, and research will never be quite the same again. Now, many avenues of experimentation, including field research, are driven by bibliometrics like big data. This metadata is mined from large nets of information obtained from users as they comb the web, but data collection apps targeted for specific initiatives make it easier than ever for researchers to gather the information they need to reach their target.
Source: Unsplash

The world has changed completely with the advent of the Digital Era, and the field of research is one of the areas most impacted by the changing and evolving technology. New ways of accessing knowledge are uncovered regularly, and the mingling of science, research, and metadata have created an entirely unique way for scholars to approach and understand information.

The mining of metadata and the science of bibliometrics allow academics to take an entirely new strategy when attempting field research. This metadata is obtained from the wide nets of user data gathered from general searches any time someone accesses the internet and queries a search term or opens a link. Using this capability strategically points researchers in a clearer direction for their focus, and data collection apps are one way that scholars are changing their approach to field research to make it streamlined.

Using Big Data in Research

Big data has been controversial in societies around the world because of the archives of information it compiles on users without their explicit consent. But because it’s mined through artificial intelligence, it continues to meet the standards required to be legally and ethically used in research.

Software programs like Google Maps are used by researchers who want to analyze data about the habits of consumer travel. E-commerce statistics through big data collection is used to determine crucial aspects of the state of the economy and whether buyers are spending or saving. Google Earth is used to measure carbon emissions and the effect of specific factors on the environment. It’s all big data, and it’s all relevant to a researcher somewhere in their effort to produce work that solves a problem and makes an impact.

Challenges of Mining for Metadata

All of this data could not be collected through in-person methods. While there is a need for in-person data collection, it reduces the pool of participants in a study to those in a specific geographical location or who have access to the requirements of the researcher’s poll. It takes time, resources, and effort to collect and compile this data independently.

Using data collection apps improves the researcher’s ability to cast a wide net and generate more feedback.

There are two main problems with this. One is the constant challenging in the legal arena of certain methods of data collection. Users are concerned that artificial intelligence can give other people access to their sensitive information and this topic is regularly debated in lawsuits.

Another challenge is that there is so much data to mine, it’s hard to narrow down and create specific methods or new technology to process it all into relevant categories. But when a researcher is able to do that, their work can be refined to a pinpoint focus.

Using Data Collection Apps to Refine Your Research Process

Hundreds of data collection apps help researchers refine their work in the field, with more being created annually. These programs work through a form of Electronic Data Capture (EDC) in which qualitative and quantitative data is stored on a device in digital format. This technology has been around for decades, since the 1980s, but only recently has become sophisticated enough to be used as a regular part of research.

One of the main benefits of EDC is that it accounts for human error. Capturing information in real-time, electronically, reduces oversight and memory loss potential. Now that so much digital information is stored on the cloud, researchers don’t have to worry about losing crucial data due to accidental or malicious damage.

Web-based data collection tools are helpful, but a lot of field research is done in areas with no internet. So today’s software manufacturers create programs that are usable without WiFi or internet connections to allow for offline data entry. With this software, users can store forms and data on their device and then upload it when they have an internet connection. This still eliminates the use of paper as a form of storage.

With these offline programs, it’s easy to collect everything you need in the field and then bring it back to your lab, upload it, and analyze the data in a refined, organized way.

Putting Your Data Together With Impactio

Once you’ve compiled your metadata, synthesized it, and come to a final conclusion from your analysis, it’s time to put it all together. That’s when experts around the world turn to Impactio to simplify this process.

Impactio is an all-in-one platform designed specifically for academic scholars. Input your information into premade templates, split your work into headings and subsections, and turn your citation and publication data into charts, graphs, and tables easily.

When you’re ready to submit your final product, you can turn it into professional PDF documents or web pages for seamless transitioning to the publishing medium.

Impactio also lets you watch the impact of your work through citation indicators and connect with your peers around the world who are part of the Impactio network, too. As you use metadata and collection apps to refine your process, you can also refine your hard work by using Impactio to take your research to the next level.

Tags Research Initiatives Big Data
Jason Collins
Writer
Jason is a writer for many niche brands with experience “bringing stories to life” for both startups and corporate partners.

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