In developed countries the current trend in field surveys is the elimination of paper and the increasingly accepted use of mobile devices. To incorporate these technologies, devices must be carefully evaluated to avoid incurring unnecessary costs, technical failures or methodological flaws that could jeopardize the timing and results of your survey.
The Android operating system has positioned itself worldwide as the de facto tool for field surveys using mobile devices, the main reason for this phenomenon is the low price of acquisition and its effective functionality that has been testified by millions of users worldwide. Cell phone manufacturers such as Nokia, Samsung, Sony and other Asian brands are now adopting this new operating system owned by Google, based on Open Source standards. It is very likely that in the next few years we will see the complete replacement of paper by mobile devices using Android, not only in survey research companies, but in all companies that perform data capture in the field.
One of the most important processes in all market research is data capture in the field. ''Capture'' does not just mean blindly entering the data into a device, but hundreds (if not thousands) of validations must be made on each of the data entered to guarantee its optimal quality; rigorous validations such as minimum and maximum allowed, consistent data type, formats and masks, and interview flow and skip relationships are now automatically controlled at the moment the data is collected using low-cost tablets or smartphones. Paper capture and manual transcription is now a thing of the past. It is a current reality, from which field research companies that collect data at external sites or on the street cannot escape.
Since year 2005 and more strongly since 2010, tablets have become a fundamental tool for market research firms worldwide. Paper-based data capture is now a thing of the past; new generations of low-cost computer equipment allow anyone to operate a fully automated data capture system in the field, thus reducing the use of paper in all stages of the survey research cycle. Among the most commonly used tablets in the field today are Samsung's Galaxy Tablets, Lenovo IdealPads and Gnesis (Korean), but ultimately any brand of tablet running the Android operating system can be used for these purposes.
Rotator Survey has set a goal that any mobile computing device can be used for field interviews, running not only Android, but any operating system. If you have purchased or are thinking of purchasing mobile devices, keep in mind that the different systems tend to disappear and it is estimated that the surviving systems are just Windows RT (Surface), owned by Microsoft and Android, owned by Google. Experts agree on the extinction of operating systems such as Windows Mobile, Simbian and Black Berry.