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In a business market like that of Africa’s, most companies still rely on paper-based and offline data collection processes, where they use paper forms, which need to be fed into the system on an excel sheet and then converted to the required format. Having understood the challenges that stopped organizations from leveraging technology to improve the data collection process, Tomi Ayorinde, an IT consultant, set off to revolutionize the industry, and enable businesses to enhance productivity with a less time-consuming data collection process. The result was MobileForms, a company that through its unique mobile technology and a network of 100,000 field agents helps organizations to collect, transmit, access, and store reliable data faster and easier. Ayorinde, the CEO and co-founder of MobileForms shares about how MobileForms can enable businesses to collect data online, offline, in the office, and on the field.
Challenges MobileForms Seeks to Solve
As a developer and an IT consultant working with clients across Africa, I was able to recognize the fact that billions of dollars are spent each year on market research and surveys which end up with unreliable data. Organizations still rely on offline, paper-based data and face a massive challenge in collecting information from remote areas with little or no internet connectivity. Moreover, paper-based data collection moves slowly, taking weeks or months to get from the point of capture to the point of data entry, and is also prone to damage of papers and loss of data. MobileForms aims to tackle all that. We want businesses to be able to get value for their investment in the market and be able to track, monitor, and get better data to make critical decisions.
How MobileForm’s Solution Solves the Data Collection Issues Faced by Businesses
MobileForms allows users to build forms using an easy drag-and-drop functionality, and share these forms with other team members in the click of a button. Through the application, team members can log in and start collecting data from their mobile devices. Organizations can also leverage our vast network of field agents and use them as team members to conduct surveys, campaigns, and data projects. With reliable and verified information flowing into their dashboard periodically, businesses can have their data science team utilize the data or engage our team of data experts to help understand the potential of their data.
We are putting a spotlight on markets that have seemed like black boxes for a while and inviting companies from around the world to leverage these new insights to succeed in these markets
The MobileForms platform enables one to collect not just text data, but also image data, GPS, audio, video, and even signatures. Also, since most of our customers are in the field collecting data, the mobile application is capable of collecting data offline and can synchronize it later when the device can next connect to the internet. The data collection process and most importantly, the business never has to stop.
Consider a scenario, where a marketing manager of a fast-moving consumer goods product producer that wants to expand into a particular country, like Kenya or Nigeria, needs to understand the market, the competition the brand will face, and the target customers. We design a consumer insight survey form on the MobileForms platform and push it to agents all across the country, and they gather the required information from their local communities. The data, including pictures, GPS, and also videos if needed, reaches the manager’s dashboard. The organization has the data faster than ever. The consolidated data helps inform every subsequent decision of the business strategy—whether to launch a product or not, which market to target etc. We are able to provide the first-hand information in weeks rather than months, enabling businesses to succeed at a faster rate.
Recent Customer Success Story
We recently finished a project for one of the largest noodles brands in Nigeria. The goal of theirs is to always stay ahead in the market competition, which requires conducting brand audits all across the country and understanding the market. They needed to identify new brands emerging in the market, their prices, and their acceptance in specific communities. We conducted a brand audit for them, through our agents around the country, capturing the brand’s action-specific questions, pictures of products of competing brands, along with data about their prices. We were able to collect the complete information within ten days, and with the consolidated data, the business was able to learn about newer brands they were not aware of and about the competitors’ reach in different communities and accordingly plan the next business strategies.
MobileForms’ Actionable Strategy for the Future
More businesses are starting to realize that they need to understand the market, in order to serve it better. In addition to the retail audits and consumer site service for consumer packaged goods—a trillion dollar market in Africa—that we do now, we also see the potential to serve government institutions. Since most of them operate almost entirely offline, they don’t have a central database to manage the data. We believe we can help them consolidate data from across the country, enable them to identify where their taxpayers are, and positively impact the economy. We also envision being the data collection ‘tool of choice’ for all NGO projects.
Having raised funds from 500 Startups and few other Silicon Valley investors, we are looking to raise over a million dollars in the near future. Businesses out there need to know that they can now conduct accurate research and get reliable data from wherever they are. Our vision is to be thought leaders in the industry, to have every organization that needs to make a business decision, rely on MobileForms for the data it can consolidate and also use them for predictive analytics.