For November’s feature of the month, we are focusing on Coreo’s data validation and verification functionality
One of the challenges with data collection is ensuring that the data you collect are correct. Despite your best efforts, errors can creep in from many places whether you’re working on a citizen science project or in a consultancy. Common issues are:
- Transcription errors
- Incorrect locations
- Misidentification of subjects
- Missing fields
- Calculation errors
- Photo evidence going missing
How Can Coreo help?
As a former ecologist himself, our CEO has seen at first hand the issues that mistakes in data collection can cause. So, when developing Coreo, he and the team wanted to ensure that errors could be tackled at both the data input and data checking stages.
Coreo is designed to maximise the quality of data being input. Here are some of the ways Coreo helps with this:
- Locations are obtained via the GPS chipset on your phone, making it easy and accurate to position your records.
- Fields can be flagged as mandatory, meaning that essential information is never missed
- Numbers can be limited to set ranges to reduce errors
- Drop-downs, multi-selects, tick boxes provide recorders with constrained lists to ensure that only valid responses are input
- Conditional logic means that recorders are only presented with the questions they need when they need them
- In-built reference guides can be built to help people with accurate in-field identification
But, we know that even with these steps in place errors can still occur.
Coreo’s data verification features means that once you’re back in the office, you have full control over your data quality. Within the system, and where your permissions allow, you’re able to:
- Edit/update records to correct errors such as erroneous locations
- Flag records according to internal work processes e.g. as ‘checked’ or ‘pending approval’.
- Query records with the recorder (with a clear thread of the conversation being stored with the record, no more searching through your emails!)
- View an audit trail of each record. With this feature you gain full visibility of all actions associated with a record. You can see what has been edited, by whom and when they did it.
So, whether you’re using Coreo to collect data for providing reports to clients or you’re undertaking research using citizen science projects, Coreo’s in-built functionality provides you with the tools to maximise the accuracy of your data.
Data validation in action!
The Chalke Valley project is an initiative that enables farmers in South Wiltshire to work together to undertake landscape scale conservation projects. Part of the work they do is to monitor the biodiversity they have on their farms so that they can work to improve the number and diversity of species they support. Several years ago, after trialling a range of other possible methods they settled on Coreo as their preferred option. In addition to its ease of use a significant benefit of Coreo was how it could help to increase data quality through validation and verification. The project benefits from this by:
- Having full species ID guides built in for farmers to check species images, descriptions and in the case of birds, their songs and calls
- Carefully constructed forms to ensure all essential data are collected
- Auto-populated fields to make data input easier and more accurate
- Media questions to allow upload of images
- Photos to enable admins to check species identification
- Ability for admins to message recorders direct from a record to, e.g. question or comment on a particular sighting
- Custom record tagging to enable project administrators to mark records as having been reviewed
The facilitator of the group, Simon Smart, had this to say about how Coreo had helped them to improve data quality:
“Coreo has completely changed how we work, for the better. Its powerful features & ease of use have allowed us to build customised data recording apps for our farming groups. This has resulted in lots more records being submitted with no delay in the data flow. The best thing is there’s no more paper records in the post or data entry errors. Farmers and landowners really appreciate the ID guides. And for me, the ability to quickly review and flag records after checking them is such a great help.”
To find out more about Simon’s project, click here.
Start your free 30 day trial today to find out how Coreo can improve your data collection, or get in touch to set up a free Coreo consultation with the team.