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Table 1 Data collectorsperceptions of data collection using smartphones

From: Integrated mapping of lymphatic filariasis and podoconiosis: lessons learnt from Ethiopia

Aspect Perception
Time Saves time during data collection through automated skip patterns.
Saves time during entry: paper-based data collection requires double data entry.
Writing on a smartphone is easier than writing on paper.
Data quality Some restrictive rules reduced error. For example, it was impossible to enter age less than 15 years.
The skip pattern reduced error in entering irrelevant data.
Transport and logistics Easy to carry compared with thousands of questionnaires.
Reduces duplication, stamping and transportation. Smartphones are handy and easily portable.
Data storage Send data instantly. However in case of lack of network access data must be stored and could be lost.
Paper based data are difficult to keep clean.
Communication Unless you explain to the respondents, they may think that you are playing a game or not fully attending when you are entering data onto a smartphone.
People are more familiar with paper and would be more comfortable to respond to questions.
Feedback mechanism Feedback is received on a regular basis, since the data managers at central level have access to the completed data instantly. In paper-based data collection you have to wait until a supervisor comes and collects the questionnaire.
Other concerns Charging in areas where there is no electricity is difficult.
Smartphone are costly and may attract robbery.
Once data are sent there is no room to correct, unless you contact people in the central level.