Magpi iSMS: Quality Data, No App Required

Collecting complex field data, with apps or without

The folks at Magpi have been enabling mobile electronic data collection for a long, long time. Most of that data collection is occurring using smart phone and tablet apps,  and users love the ease of use, and the low cost of Magpi.  We love it, too, but we’ve been thinking for awhile about a tool to enable the same kind of high quality data collection without the need to install an app. Such a tool could be used when an app is inconvenient . . . or if you wanted information from people whose phones just don’t support apps.

Magpi’s interactive iSMS provides low-cost, high-quality SMS data collection from any phone. No app required!

How does iSMS work?

Interactive SMS is like a conversation that Magpi has with a respondent.  You can provide information to the user during that conversation, including links to web pages or email, and you can ask questions and gather information.   This makes interactive SMS a rich experience that’s just as useful for distributing information as it is for collecting it! An iSMS session can be initiated by the Magpi system (if the Magpi user already knows all the phone numbers for possible respondents) or by anyone at all (if they are provided somehow with the information on how to initiate the session).

iSMS lets you crowdsource data, solicit feedback, or provide guided information.

Crowdsourcing with Magpi

That’s right: anyone can sign themselves up to provide data with iSMS — allowing Magpi for the first time to receive data from the public in general. SMS-based crowdsourcing, with Magpi simplicity. iSMS also allows for data-quality tools like range checks and logical branching.  It also includes enforced multiple choice (only the requested responses are allowed).  These tools have previously only been available in tools like the Magpi mobile app — or in extremely expensive customized SMS solutions (which is why they are typically only used by big corporations). In the example below, a public office posted a sign on the wall with information on how to provide feedback:

Magpi iSMS Feedback Sign Example and when a  visitor followed the instructions, this is what they saw (the gray and green text balloons):


A system like this can  be set up in minutes!   No consultants, no programming, no meetings with carriers.

Magpi’s iSMS makes tools for high-quality SMS data collection available to any paid Magpi subscriber, in minutes.

Take a minute and give it a spin

We created a sample iSMS for you to see how easy it is, and try out the logic and other features.  Go ahead and give our iSMS Test Drive a spin!

Magpi iSMS Test Drive


Continue reading about Magpi’s iSMS: Magpi iSMS: Crowdsourcing and More!


For more information on iSMS, check out our support materials:

Introduction to SMS data collection with Magpi

Entering data by SMS versus by using the Magpi apps

Video: collecting data by SMS with Magpi

Video: Intro to interactive SMS (iSMS)

How to create an interactive SMS form with Magpi

How to deploy an Interactive SMS Form with Magpi

Magpi iSMS

Magpi’s interactive SMS (iSMS) provides low-cost, high-quality SMS-based data collection from any phone. No app required! iSMS lets you crowdsource data, solicit feedback, or provide guided information.

Test Drive iSMS