Error free data collection
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To improve upon paper based data collection, a new software tool was developed and is being used by Craig Williamson’s team for the Lakes as Sentinels of Climate Change project. We designed this to go beyond the typical data collection methods by providing interactive help for data collectors, using modern layout design principles and integrating the tool into the overall research data workflow. This poster shows a few of the design considerations that others can use to improve their own data collection systems. • Guidance is integrated into the form at the locations where the user will have questions • Controlled vocabulary limits errors and makes later searching more effective • Collected data is automatically uploaded and compiled into a single database to simplify queries and analysis. • Data entry layout is optimized based on modern Human Computer Interaction (HCI) research. • Data entry is interactive with prompts, guidance and dynamic color coding to help students and others collect accurate data. • As data is entered, it is automatically validated. Errors are immediately reported to the data collector so they can be corrected while the data is fresh. • Data validation rules adjust to match the site and conditions being observed and can be updated remotely by the Principal Investigator as needed.
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