Image 1: Field agent using a mobile data collection application in Northern Nigeria.


Conducting field data collection can be a complex process that demands a lot of human and financial resources. A project lead has to create forms that are precisely defined and unambiguous, as well as plan and coordinate field operations for data collection. The field staff and volunteer workers would then take the paper forms and other tools to remote sites and return them securely to the office.

Furthermore, there may be errors when collecting field data, transporting it, or typing the paper-based data into a digital format on a computer system. During the data collection, project managers are unable to effectively monitor the activities of the field team and therefore, reliable and valuable results are not guaranteed. This is an unnecessarily lengthy operation process that has a high possibility for error.

  • How can Mobile Data Collection help?

When using mobile gadgets in gathering field data, pen and paper-based surveys can be eradicated. In addition, there are fewer chances for error because the data is recorded into the computer system only once. After data is captured, it can be analyzed in real-time.

Mobile forms can streamline data collection with interactive steps like conditional questions and calculations. With these applications, any type of data can be captured, such as images, videos, or location data. This does not only increase field data reliability but it cuts down on cost and time.

Currently, there are a variety of sophisticated data collection tools widely used across Nigeria today. Here are some of the top mobile data collection tools currently in use;

  1. Datakojo

Image 2: Datakojo platform


Datakojo is a mobile data collection platform developed by eHealth4everyone which is used for surveys, research, and monitoring. The platform features both online and offline integrations to improve the pace of data collection in remote areas with poor network connectivity. With this feature, crucial data can be swiftly collected and sent to the intended recipients. This will enable organisations to act on the information swiftly and address social issues and problems.

Datakojo incorporates real-time and predictive analytics to help denote trends and patterns that would provide crucial insights for timely decision making.

With its integrated and comparative analytics engine, users may compare data collected from different time frames at different locations. This would enable users to measure progress toward goals, discover trends, and make strategic decisions.


  • Dynamic Form Builder.

  • Personalized Dashboard

  • Sound Data Security Measures.

  • Offline and online work capability.

  • Instant analysis & Feedback.

  • Integrates with DHIS2.

  • Data Visualization and Report Functionalities.

  • Ability to export data in a wide range of formats.

Cost: Flexible Enterprise Plan.

Platforms Available: Android and Web.

  1. KoboToolBox

Image 3: Kobotoolbox logo


KoBoToolbox is a free, open-source tool for mobile data gathering developed by the Harvard Humanitarian Initiative. KoBo Toolbox is widely used for data entry in humanitarian organizations like the International Rescue Committee (IRC), United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs, and Save the Children. 

Data entry may be done via the web browser or on Kobo Toolbox’s Android application called KoboCollect. KoboCollect supports offline data entry on both Android phones and tablets.

To visualize, analyze, share, and download collected data, researchers may use KoBoToolbox’s web application. Advanced users may also install their KoBoToolbox instance on a local computer or server. 


  • Form Builder.

  • Offline and Online forms.

  • Data visualization tool.

  • Data analysis tool.

  • Report Functionalities.

  • Ability to export data in a wide range of formats.


Cost: Free and Open source.

Platforms Available: Android and Web.

  1. Google Forms

Image 4: Google forms logo


Google Forms is a survey administration software included as part of the free, web-based Google Docs Editors suite offered by Google.

The platform is widely used to create surveys easily and quickly. Furthermore, it allows you to plan events, ask questions to your employees or clients and collect diverse types of information in a simple and efficient way.

The mobile app enables agents to collect data based on the form defined by the organisation and allows a field agent to collect as many data entry points as possible or as defined by the organisation.


  • Simple user interface.

  • Data entry validation.

  • Automated data integrity functionality.

  • Automated Analysis.

Cost: Free.

Platforms Available: Android and iOS.

  1. ODK

Image 5: Open Data Kit logo


ODK is an open-source software for collecting, managing, and using data in resource-constrained environments. It allows for offline data collection with mobile devices in remote areas. The submission of the data to a server can be performed, when Internet connectivity is available. It allows communities to aggregate data with full control over the collected data and the servers where this data is stored.


  • Survey Form Builder.

  • Offline Data Collection.

  • Customizable Campaign features.

  • Cloud Storage Services.

  • Data Visualization and Report Functionalities.

Cost: Free

Platforms Available: Android and Web.

  1. Ona

Image 6: ONA logo


Ona is a mobile data collection solution and application that empowers field teams to monitor real-time field data both online and offline. 


  • Powerful Forms.

  • World-Class Support.

  • Collaboration Management.

  • Real-Time Insights.

  • Data Visualization and Report Functionalities.

  • Room for a wide range of integrations.

Cost: Free, Standard, Pro, and an Enterprise Plan.

Platforms Available: Android, iOS, and Web.