Digitalization of almost everything with the advent of technology is the order of today. While many individuals and companies already danced to the tunes of technology years ago, the year 2020 COVID-19 global pandemic gave the rest of us no choice but to fall in line. The isolation and need for social distancing forced everyone to turn to remote working and the use of virtual means to keep business and even our social life going. The aspect of the collection of data for businesses was not left behind in this change. The importance of collecting data for every business cannot be overemphasized. It is no news that as a business owner, you need quality data to be able to make informed decisions.
As said by Carly Florina, ex CEO of Hewlett Packard,
“The goal is to turn data into information and information into insight.”
Traditionally, many businesses dealt with the collection of data using paper and ink. While this might not seem like a problem at first, the result is a stack of unnecessary papers which just look messy and is overwhelming to work with. This is where digitalization comes in. With the digitalization of data collection, the process isn’t only just made easier but the result is also very attractive as data is collected and captured into a more fixed and accessible form than papers.
Digitalization of data collection is done with the use of an online form builder. As a business owner, it is advised you get yourself the best form builder you can find.
You would first ask, what exactly is an online form builder? Simple, an online form builder is a tool used in creating great-looking web forms used to collect data from an audience. It aids the creation of different kinds of personalized forms through which your customers and audience can connect with you. One good thing about an online form builder is that they require no form of knowledge about coding and thus are easy to use.
Benefits of a good online form builder
Having the best online form builder can be great and beneficial for your business in the following ways:
1. Less paper required
The traditional way of using paper is so expensive as you need to always get paper and ink. Afterward, you just stack them up and dump them in someplace only to look back at them when you need to find some information. The process of going through the stack can be extremely tedious and sometimes even futile as paper can get lost anytime. Hence, it’s a great benefit that an online form builder takes away the need for paper altogether. Since data can be collected digitally, it’s stored in one place and can be accessed anytime.
2. Simple to use with no coding
When people hear online form builder, they probably think you have to have a lot of tech knowledge to be able to use it. However, using an online form builder can be seamless as it’s really simple and needs no special knowledge of coding or programming.
3. Online form builder is always and easily accessible
As earlier pointed, the digitalization of data collection via online form builder aids in data being collected in one place. This is a great upgrade from the use of several stacks of paper to store data. Now that online form builders now allow for data to be stored in one place, it is easy to search for and find relevant data as it is always accessible.
4. Save time & Costs
It is time-saving as well as cost-friendly when compared to using several stacks of paper to collect data from your audience.
5. It allows for A/B Testing
As a business owner, you are aware of the inevitable chance of changes in your customers’ actions. Online form builders give you the chance to edit anything from the smallest detail to the largest changes in your form in an instant. It then allows you to perform A/B tests to determine the best form features for your business.
6. Customization & Personalization
Branding is very essential for every business owner. Online form builders allow you to customize and personalize your form to fit the look and feel of your business website. You do not need to stick to the general standard fields as you may decide to ask more detailed questions that will help you gain insight and find the information you are looking for.
7. It aids good communication with consumers
With online form builders, data collection is easy and automatic. Unlike the exchanging of emails, for digital forms, you do not need to sit and wait for days to get answers or feedback from your audience. Customers can just easy provide data at their convenience and automatically. This overall also aids customer experience as they feel like they can be a part of your business decision-making without going through the stress of unnecessary spamming of their emails.
8. It is easy to follow up
With an online form builder, you are alerted when a new subscriber fills the form. Hence, you can follow up by sending a welcome email to such subscribers or a package you might have promised for signing up.
9. Data Collection
It can be used to collect different kinds of data ranging from general things such as name and age to more detailed and personal things. Some of the data that can be collected includes contact information, opinions, customer feedback, confirmations, etc.
Having explored the concept of an online form builder and how using the best form builder can be beneficial for your business, we are going to talk about some things needed for you to put into consideration as you start your digital journey of data collection. They include:
1. Plan your data collection
There are several steps involved in the planning of data collection. They include:
You need to first decide what kind of data you need to collect: Before you even bother about using the best form builder, you need to decide what kind of data you need to collect. To do so, you should ask yourself certain questions like ‘What exactly am I trying to achieve?’, ‘What exactly am I collecting from my audience?’
Secondly, you need to have a plan on how you will analyze the response gotten: Analyzing data has been made easier by technology as digital collection aids the capturing of data in one place. This makes analyzing less stressful than it used to be. You can now view and organize data in one cohesive space and even share it for your team to work on together.
Lastly and very importantly, you should have an idea of how much data you need and what your target audience is: While planning data collection, you should have an idea of how much data you need so that you do not go overboard. Also, you need to know your target audience. Ask yourself ‘How many people am I trying to reach?’, the answer to this will help you determine what platform to host your forms on to collect data.
2. Choosing a data collection method
After the planning stage, you then decide what kind of data collection method you want to use. Several data collection methods are ranging from surveys, interviews, campaigns, questionnaires. Questionnaires are used to gather specific answers by asking a range of questions. They are mostly used in getting opinions and thoughts about a subject matter. These questions may come in several forms such as multiple questions or fill the answer. Depending on the kind of data you seek to collect and what you need it for, you have to select the method that best suits it. Fortunately, if you do choose the best online form builder, you can access and choose from any of these kinds of data collection methods that best suits your needs.
3. Handle whatever data is collected responsively
Always remember that at the end of the day, you are responsible for the data gotten from your digital forms and whatever comes out from it. As you handle sensitive information, make sure that they are kept safe from a third party. Also, make sure to obey your audience's wishes especially in terms of confidentiality and privacy to avoid problems. Here are some security recommendations to follow:
- Ensure the best privacy and data protection laws.
- Always seek consent from your audience before using sensitive information.
- Present clear policies in your forms.
Play with the Data to Enhance your Digital Journey
Data collection is very essential for every business owner. Most times, the answer we seek as business owners lies in the information we can get from consumers. Perhaps, that is why Ronald Coase once said “Torture the data and it will reveal everything.” As business owners, for everything we do, we need to always put the consumers in mind. What better way to know their thoughts and opinion than data collection?
For efficient digital collection, the best form builder is needed. That is why we bring to you, the best form builder which is forms.io. Forms.io is regarded as the best form builder by us because it provides for all the great features and functions needed to have a smooth data collection process. It is not only pocket-friendly and easy to use; it also provides great templates which can be personalized to suit your brand’s image. Start your digital journey today with the best form builder, forms.io by 500apps.