Mobile data collection is become more and more popular nowadays, and everyone at Magpi was thrilled this past week to learn that Magpi was just rated the #1 mobile data collection app by Kopernik, an Indonesia-based organization, at their “Impact Tracker Tech” site.
The new site, funded by the Rockefeller Foundation, aims to establish “a central marketplace at which organizations can access ICT-based tools and come to understand their pros and cons as well as their applications to specific needs.” They look at tools in the categories of digital data collection apps, SMS communications platforms, geospatial mapping tools, and remote sensors.
What’s remarkable about the site is that this is the first such rating system I’m aware of that dares to offer a real opinion: while there have been many lists made of technology tools useful for international development, Kopernik puts themselves on the line with clear opinions as to which apps are better and why.
And we were very happy to see that Magpi scored highest in the “digital data collection” category along every parameter: usability, affordability, rapidity, scalability, and transferability.
They also try to cut through the technical jargon that obscures real understanding of these technical systems. Here’s an example:
‘Free and open source’ doesn’t mean no-cost, turn-key solutions ready for immediate deployment. Rather, it means that people with specific skills, such as IT programmers, can use open source tools to build something useful for organizations. However, most nonprofits and social enterprises do not have in-house programmers to help use such tools.
That’s the single most useful paragraph I’ve read all year on the topic.
The only quibble I have is that after singing our praises, they say Magpi is “to be used by organizations with limited IT and financial resources.”
Well, sure, Magpi is an option for those with limited resources, but many large organizations also want to save time and money! Our users include most of the largest foreign aid contractors, and some of the smallest non-profits, and what they share in common is a desire to collect much-needed data and to do so in the most time-efficient and cost-effective way – and that’s just what Magpi lets them do.
– Joel Selanikio