Rich data - formulate mobile forms

Mobile forms, the advantages over paper - Rich data

19 June 2020

Continuing our series examining the advantages of mobile digital forms, over their paper equivalents, today we are focussing on "Rich Data"

There are many varying definitions of the term rich data, but in this case, we are referring to data which does not have a paper equivalent - data that has a value which cannot be paper means alone.

GPS location tag

Formulate can record the exact location (via the GPS chip in the phone or tablet) where the data is entered. This can later be analyses via Google maps or other mapping software.


The user can capture any number of photographs whilst filling out a form. These are linked to the form, and are uploaded to the back office along with the completed form. Photographs have may uses, predominantly in proving an event took place (photographic evidence), or in providing further details to a text description.

Multiple entries

These are many paper forms, where it is not known how many occurrences of field data may be needed. Examples of this are:

"Please enter the names of staff at this location" or "Please enter the gas appliances at this location".

To deal with this using paper, multiple blank rows are provided, which in most occasions are not all filled in. However, in rare occasions, there are more data that space available so the user ends up writing on the back of the form, or on a continuation sheet.

Formulate however, allows the form designer to identify a set of fields as being "repeatable" - they are shown on the tablet as a single set, with an option to "add more"

This approach reduces user error, both in the entering of data, and the transcribing or analysing in the back office.