Case Study: Simplifying Data Collection with Formstack

Written by Guest Blogger on October 14, 2013

Posted in Case Studies, Form Hacks

One of my favorite things in life is shortcuts. Make no mistake: I don’t mean cutting corners, I mean shortcuts. I love to take apart a process and put it back together in a shorter, more efficient and more effective way.

When it comes to shortcuts, Formstack is one of my favorites. I want to take a few minutes and share how it has helped shorten some important processes for me. Before I do that I feel like it’s worth mentioning that you don’t to be or have access to a developer to take advantage of what Formstack has to offer.

Mastering the Data Clean-Up
For the past three years, I have had the pleasure of serving as the COO for ROAR.PRO. One of the things we were constantly looking at was finding ways to shorten delivery time of our customers’ apps, especially when it improved the overall experience for our customer. The biggest improvement for us came when we moved a process of collecting some standard information from our clients through a series of emails to a Formstack form. It took a sloppy method of collecting a specific list of details and made it uniform and easy. When using email, we were constantly chasing things people forgot to send us, not to mention keeping what we had vs. what we still needed straight. It was also much simpler for our customers.

If that’s all we gained from using Formstack it would be worth every penny, but we were able to do more with that same form. As I mentioned earlier, you don’t need a developer to use Formstack. However, if you have one on your team he or she can use the Formstack API to amplify the power of your form. For example, our lead developer tapped the Formstack API and was able to move all the data collected in the form to a database specific to each customer, saving hundreds of man hours.  Man hours we then used to do a better job building killer apps for our customers.

Faster Data Transmittal for Critical Situations
More recently, I have been consulting a medical services company on ways to streamline some critical communications procedures. In particular, they transport patients in need of critical care. Today they still use the same type of communication that was being used in the 1960s, analog radio. This method has been effective for more than 50 years, but not without its drawbacks. For example, it requires a radio operator on both ends, and radio communications can be less precise due to unpredictable clarity of the transmission. So we re-imagined the process and we are putting the finishing touches on a Formstack form to modernize the way the process works.

By using Formstack we can enhance the process in several ways. First, we can gather more information in less time by using check boxes and drop down lists. With the instant data collection of Formstack, this information can be understood and put to use much faster. It eliminates the risk of misunderstanding via radio. Additionally, it can be disseminated to multiple people simultaneously. This will equal faster, better care for the individual and more confidence in their understanding of the patient’s condition.

In both cases we took a critical business process and tore it apart. As we re-built the process, Formstack played a important role in making it better.  So take a few minutes to examine what you could re-engineer with a little help from Formstack.

About the Author
KM Headshot 2013Kyle McClain is best described as a technologist. He has always looked to shorten or “hack” things and processes. He has worked in the mobile, web and IT sectors, helping both Fortune 500 companies and small businesses refine their processes. For the past three years Kyle has served as the COO for ROAR.PRO, a mobile application publishing platform for churches and nonprofits. More recently, Kyle founded gludi a company aimed at helping people with diabetes self manage their disease. You can keep up with Kyle on twitter @kylemcclain.