Thursday, March 30, 2006

Automated Business Processes on Handheld PDAs

A long time friend of mine, Bryan Larkin, was fond of saying that electronic data collection forms on handheld PDAs are much more powerful than simply digital versions of paper forms. When an end user creates a PDA data collection form using our Intercue Mobility Suite, they can control the quality of the data and the business process that the form represents. Let me provide some examples:

  • Form 1 has a question with 3 possible answers (a,b,c). If you answer the question with "a", the electronic form on the PDA jumps you to another page to answer additional questions related to answer "a". The form is now customized to ask only questions related to your previous answers.
  • If a question asked for a unit of measurement in meters, and you answer with a "yes", it can pop-up a message saying - "Invalid answer please use numeric answers"
  • If you select a data collection form called "Phase 1 Site Assessment" the form can be configured to walk the user through each data collection process in the order desired. For example - first enter data from a "Nuclear Density Compaction Test", second collect soil samples, package and document them in a zip lock bag with a printed client label, third collect a water sample, place in a bottle with the client's label attached.......

The opportunities to creatively build work flows and business processes into electronic data collection forms on handheld PDAs are powerful and endless. The immediate values are improved quality assurance, process standardization, better data, controlled processes and normalized procedures.