Mobile data collection in Africa

Mobile Data Collection offers new opportunities for collecting and collating data in Africa. It promises access to representative, high-quality, real-time data from diverse communities and groups across the continent, addressing the dearth of reliable data on Africa long lamented by development analysts, market specialists and policymakers (Dabalen et al., 2016). Mobile data collection is also less expensive especially compared to the enormous costs and labour-intensive nature of traditional field research.

This promise of mobile data collection is strengthened by the fact that Africa remains the fastest growing mobile market in the world, with penetration into remote and underserved communities set to improve significantly through 2025 (GSMA Sub-Saharan Africa Report 2017). Development organizations such as the World Bank have already begun leveraging the advantages of mobile data collection with their Listening to Africa Initiative (Dabalen et al., 2016). Indeed, no organization intent on operating and succeeding in Africa can afford to ignore the benefits of mobile data collection.

While acknowledging the importance of mobile data collection for understanding audiences in Africa, literacy rates and demographics are two factors to weigh carefully when choosing a mobile data collection service. SMS (Short Message Service), USSD (Unstructured Supplementary Service Data) and Data Collection Apps have been shown to be ill-suited for low-literacy, older population groups. In view of these factors, voice-based solutions are becoming increasingly relevant especially as data emerges on their comparative accuracy and wider applicability.

Here at Survey54, we have developed a mobile data collection solution that is ideal for remote, low-literacy communities. Using Voice Sentiment Technology and Artificial Intelligence (AI), we enable our clients to communicate with respondents in their own language and at their own convenience. Our mobile data collection system is effective, scalable, sustainable and affordable. Contact us today for a demo.