Prelude Offline Takes Research Beyond the Connection

By Editorial Team on September 21, 2023

In the realm of research, data collection is foundational. However, traditional paper-based methods and challenges with electronic data collection in areas with a limited internet connection have created obstacles to efficient data collection in various types of research. Prelude addresses these issues head-on with Prelude Offline, offering researchers a seamless solution to overcome these challenges and drive progress in their work. 

Challenges With Paper-based Data Collection 

The limitations of paper-based data collection are well-acknowledged within the research community. Manual transcription introduces the risk of errors, and the cumbersome storage and management of paper records can slow down data retrieval and the review process. Plus, paper can easily get lost, damaged, or even blown away in outdoor environments. As research projects become more complex and demand faster turnarounds, it’s clear that modernizing data collection methods is essential. 

Challenges of Electronic Data Collection Without Wi-Fi  

While electronic data collection offers advantages over paper, it is not immune to challenges in areas with limited or no Wi-Fi connectivity. Researchers can struggle to access or sync data when a stable internet connection is unavailable. This disrupts the research process and introduces the risk of inaccurate or incomplete data. Farm animal, agricultural, wildlife, and laboratory research settings are most affected by these challenges. These industries needed a solution that supports higher quality data collection and increased productivity.  

Benefits of Offline Data Collection 

Enter Prelude Offline, a solution designed to address these data collection challenges. With Prelude Offline, researchers can collect data in locations without a stable internet connection. This approach allows for real-time electronic data entry, minimizing errors, and maintaining the momentum of research projects regardless of connectivity constraints. 

Other benefits include:  

  • Properly formatted data with defined data types (e.g., text, date, time, etc.) 
  • Flags to mark required fields and values that fall outside of acceptable parameters 
  • Audit trail to capture who did what and when they did it, including the time of data entry and sync 
  • Avoiding illegible handwriting, manual transcription, and source data verification 
  • Immediate access to data collected for monitor review 
  • Secure data protection once data is synced 
  • Seamless integration with Prelude EDC  

Application in Research Settings With Limited Wi-Fi  

Prelude Offline is a versatile solution that caters to various research scenarios. It holds value in farm animal research settings or other outdoor environments (e.g., wildlife habitats) with limited to no internet connection. Prelude Offline is also a valuable solution for researchers working in laboratories where building infrastructure might block Wi-Fi. By removing connectivity issues and concerns, Prelude Offline enhances productivity and supports the pursuit of breakthrough discoveries. 

Example

Sarah, a dedicated dairy cattle researcher, collects vital data related to her research on the efficiency of dietary protein and energy utilization in lactating cows. With no internet connectivity at the stalls, Sarah captures observations via the Prelude Offline app on her tablet, ensuring no data point is missed. As the sun sets, she returns to the research center, where the reestablished internet connection allows her to sync her gathered data to Prelude EDC (electronic data capture). Now the data is ready for review and analysis without the need to ship paper forms to her team or other stakeholders.  

How Prelude Offline Works  

Prelude Offline was designed to ensure smooth data collection for researchers struggling with internet connectivity. With Offline, researchers sync their mobile devices and utilize Offline to capture and store data directly to those devices. Once an internet connection becomes available, they can sync the locally stored data to Prelude EDC (electronic data capture). Electronically collected data and the edit checks built into the Prelude Offline forms support data accuracy. While syncing prevents the loss of valuable data and allows immediate access to newly collected data points. 

In conclusion, Prelude Offline offers a practical solution to researchers’ persistent data collection challenges, empowering them to optimize workflows, uphold data integrity, and contribute to progress unhindered. The transition from paper-based to electronic methods, even in environments with limited Wi-Fi, is streamlined through this solution. Researchers can focus on their work without worrying about data integrity or connectivity disruptions.  

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