D3 utilizes Research Control Solutions, our proprietary software program, to offer highly customizable electronic data capture in any research environment.
RCS was inspired by clients seeking an affordable, flexible solution to collecting data in even the most remote and challenging of locations, but any research project can benefit from using RCS.
By utilizing RCS, D3 increases efficiency, improves data quality, and provides real-time data monitoring.
RCS can collect data via face-to-face interviews on mobile devices, and by calling telephone numbers through its built-in dialing functionality that allows interviewers to dial from any mobile-enabled device, without the need of a formal call center.
With demand-driven new features added regularly, D3’s RCS application connects clients with the most cutting-edge developments in electronic data capture. We are supported by an expert team of programmers who can adjust the software to accommodate new functionalities as needed.
RCS distinguishes itself from other data collection software as a platform designed by survey experts, for survey experts. Each survey is built in RCS from start to finish, leveraging customized features to capture metadata such as time per question, audio recording, and GPS. In collaboration with experienced programmers, new features are continuously developed to meet the evolving technical needs of the survey research community. For example, audio recording, silence monitoring, date-time flags, and GPS parameters, among others.
RCS runs from a cloud server (Microsoft Azure), which ensures the privacy and security of all data collected through RCS. The RCS application has been fine tuned to work offline, encrypting and safeguarding data until mobile connectivity is available. The software is compatible with low-cost Android devices, ranging from simple mobile phones to full featured tablets.
Some of the key features of RCS include:
With extremely limited access to the Internet in many remote and rural areas in Africa, the Middle East, South and Central Asia and Latin America, offline data collection is a necessity. Surveys are also tailored to include features that allow interviewers to adapt to changing realities during fieldwork without the need to synchronize devices online.
RCS allows for complete and comprehensive back-checking and interview verification, be it completed onsite or centralized, in-person, or over the phone. RCS back-checking and re-contact surveys allow for supervisor follow-up to ensure interviews occurred correctly. In combination with live access to data, back-checking ensures potential issues in data quality are caught early and stopped immediately, saving time and money.
RCS leverages device-based GPS receivers so the exact location of the survey can be captured offline when the app is in use. Location is then monitored to ensure interviews occur in places they are required. GPS monitoring can also be enhanced through geofencing: setting location parameters (specific coordinates and radius around the area) within which interviewers must be present, and automatically flagging data collected out of range.
In many locations around the world, it is difficult to fully employ table-based surveys due to security and crime concerns. RCS can be customized to support interviewing on smaller, more discrete phones that aid pen-and-paper research. Such tools include GPS coordinate collection, photo taking, and instruments programmed to assist with household enumeration and respondent selection.
All projects have access to a standard web portal that allows productivity monitoring, basic data analysis, and access to datasets and other information captured in field.
Beyond the standard portal, RCS can be tailored to meet the exact output needs of the user. Customized portals have also been created to include automatic report generation and monitoring of fieldwork by interviewer, date, location, and key demographics, without access to PII. This provides clients with a fully transparent view of how their projects are moving forward.
RCS can collect various types of data, including standard listed and open-ended questions; single and multi-answer variables; text and numeric variables, battery options; looped questions and looped sections; page-by-page or question-by-question timestamps; altitude readings; audio, photo, and video capture and display; GPS coordinates; and digital signatures. RCS is even capable of linking with external applications and devices as need for a project (for example, fingerprint scanners and Bluetooth printers). Collection of personally identifiable data will vary with local laws and respondent consent.
Translations in RCS are included in the same instrument and can be switched at any point in the survey as needed.
Since RCS’s creation in 2012, D3 has implemented surveys with RCS in over 30 countries for a diverse set of clients, and it can be utilized in any country where D3 works.
The D3 / RCS Advantage provides our clients with the highest quality data for the lowest possible cost. We have been building the capacity of our extensive network of research partners through multi-day, tailored training on how to use RCS effectively, enabling us to implement surveys quickly and accurately.
For more information about how D3 can make RCS work for you, please complete our contact form, and we will be happy to answer any of your questions.