How to Choose Data Collection Hardware.
People collect data all the time but we live in times where data corruption and loss can happen within the blink of an eye which is why you should be prepared on ensuring that it does not come to this unless you want to do the extra work of having to backup everything on paper. When you decide to use electronic hardware to do this, the process will go much better than using papers and pen. Nevertheless, you should take the necessary precautions if you do not want to be disappointed in the end. You can use netbook computers, tablets or mobile phones in collecting the data. However, have in mind the screen size of the device you are using. The wide the screen the more the questions will be on display which means convenience. When the answers are being fed on the device, its memory will be used up gradually. It will be impossible for you to store more information when the memory is full. Thus, go there prepared with more storage space.
Take note of any features that will be of help to you. In some cases, you may need to snap some photos and you need a device which can produce great quality photos. Ensure the device you have brought with you has perfect microphones if you will be collecting data. It is good for you to take GPS measurements into consideration if this is needed. Electronic device function on batteries and they have to be recharged from time to time. You need one with a long battery life if the field you will be working at has no electricity. Power backups like power banks for smartphones, laptops and even tablets are a great option for you if you do not want power failures in the process.
You should confirm that the device supports the language and font you ought to conduct the survey. Even for same models, variations do exist. Before you go charging to the field, it is good to have the devices tested on an actual survey and a similar or closely related environment so that there are no surprises when the final day comes. You need to know that hardware and software are correlated. Different hardware support different software. This is why you need to confirm that the hardware you are bringing with you is indeed capable of running with the software you have. The price of the device should not be taken for granted because investing in expensive device when the money available for the data collection is limited does not make sense.