Started on Tuesday morning, me and my fellow colleagues attended an IT training. Held by world bank as a partner of my office on a couple of infrastructure project. The presentation was brought directly by world bank’s staff (its native speaker) from DC (its looks cool though, having a foreigner speaker :p). So they have a software that can collect data in online and offline condition. They believe it would brought a lot of benefit, especially in low/middle income country which sometimes the cellular/internet signal is suck.

Its called Kobo Tool Box. Its a software for collecting data as I said before. Kobo is an opensource software, which means you can modify it to suits your style and needs. What makes me amaze was that software actually have no limit for storing data. You can store a bunch of data with no prob at all. They just stated that if you would store more than 10.000 submissions or 5 GB of data you have to tell them (for precaution maybe). That’s it. And it’s free, no hidden features that you can only have in premium version. Its all f free. How come it can be free and have a lot of cool features? because is funded mainly by Harvard Humanitarian Initiatives, Brigham women hospital, and Kwekyo (I don’t really know this org). And a lot of additional support from another org. In  their web site, they state “KoBoToolbox is a suite of tools for field data collection for use in challenging environments. Our software is free and open source. Most of our users are people working in humanitarian crises, as well as aid professionals and researchers working in developing countries. Our teams of developers and researchers are based in Cambridge, MA and many other places around the world.”

It has 3 main features. Form builder, super easy to make questionnaire, make a complex form with 20 types of question, and you can easily share it with your colleagues. The second one is collecting data, you can work you questionnaire online or even offline and you can collect it on smartphone,tablet or laptop. The last one is analyze and manage data, you can create summary report and visualize your data. Actually it has more than that, but I just write whats the important one (in my opinion).

One of my friends was imagined what about the security of the data that have stored in their server. They told us that our data wouldn’t be used or sold. But in our project which have national level, its kinda risky when you share it in open source program that you haven’t full control over it. Who can guarantee that your data project will be safe. There is option that less risky though. You can make your own server but still use the Kobo software. But you must have server and your own IT guy who take care on it.

Still, its a good software afterall. You can try it for free.

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