How Scientists Use the Fulcrum App to Collect Data in the Field

Fulcrum is an app that enables scientists to collect information and keep entries generated in the discipline when finishing up their analysis and it has helped forestall the lack of information to random accidents. In right now’s age, cellular functions are very useful and helpful instruments for us that allow us to perform a wide range of beforehand unimaginable capabilities. There are actually apps which might be designed particularly to acquire information successfully for later use in communications, evaluation, and extra. These apps enable us to acquire big quantities and a variety of information and in addition retrieve it shortly and simply. Given how data-dependent our work is, we began utilizing an app known as Fulcrum to help in information assortment.

Earlier, when there was no Fulcrum and we had to survey dozens of villages, it was very tough for us to write down all the info on an information sheet. It was much more tough to keep the information information over time and to kind by way of lots of of sheets for information entry. Data loss was the single largest difficulty we confronted with paper sheets. We misplaced some useful information to rain, irregular climate circumstances, sheets getting torn, and a few random accidents which might be inevitable whereas utilizing paper. Data as soon as misplaced again then was nearly as good as information misplaced perpetually. Things modified as soon as we made the change to utilizing a pill and the cellular app Fulcrum.

The crew makes use of tablets to collect information from the discipline, which has eradicated the want for datasheets that may be simply broken
Photo Credit: NCF

Coming from a small village nestled in the coronary heart of Malai Mahadeshwara Hills Wildlife Sanctuary, I had by no means used any devices besides a easy cellphone earlier than, and this was an enormous transition for me! Naturally, there was a studying curve and all of us made plenty of errors initially, however as soon as we bought good at it, there was no going again to utilizing paper! It gave me immense happiness and pleasure to give you the option to replace myself to the present occasions and use know-how to perform neighborhood work.

The pill is simple to carry. The massive display makes it handy to function, and it’s sturdy and has a protecting cowl so we do not panic if just a few drops of water fall on it. Fulcrum presents an interface the place we now have customised the fields of information required and all we now have to do is enter the information. It is very similar to filling a kind online- simple, fast, and hassle-free.

All the information we enter on the pill is uploaded to the cloud upon syncing each time we get an web connection, prepared to be downloaded at our comfort to analyse. This additionally cuts down many hours of labor for us that will in any other case be spent manually getting into information on a pc. It even reduces the probabilities of human error which we might face whereas manually getting into big quantities of information at one go.

Armed with the pill, we set out to survey and acquire a variety of information from villages the place we establish beneficiaries for our varied tasks whereby we offer alternate options to firewood, and mitigate human-wildlife battle by offering solar-powered lights and crop fences. Some of the typical information classes embrace the beneficiary’s socio-economic info, their sample of firewood assortment and utilization, geographical location, and far more.

fulcrum firewood fulcrum

To set up baseline utilization and discount in utilization after switching to LPG, we weigh the quantity of collected firewood for every beneficiary twice, for a interval of seven days every. This huge quantity of information assortment is made simple as one merely wants to enter the values and dates in the software
Photo Credit: NCF

Our expertise with this know-how is not with out its issues. There have been situations when improper syncing brought about us to lose some useful fuelwood weighing information, which was an especially powerful loss to bear as that form of information takes us greater than per week to acquire for one village. But we tailored, and bought higher at dealing with small glitches and dealing our means round them.

Overall, this gadget and the cellular app collectively, are splendidly efficient instruments for recording massive quantities of data simply. We additionally report the numbers of animals and birds sighted throughout our discipline work with none further effort, which earlier would have required us to draw up particular datasheets, and take out further time for the process.

To put it into perspective, if we have been to convert all the Fulcrum information collected in the final four years into A4 information sheets, we might simply refill a big lorry with the load and even perhaps extra. The most superb half is that we’re saving all this paper, decreasing kilograms of trash and hours of guide labour just by shifting to one gadget half the measurement of an A4 sheet and an app that does most of the work for us.

During our surveys in varied distant villages, after we carry out the tab to report the info, the locals are stuffed with harmless curiosity, as a result of that is one thing so new for them.

“What is this, sir?” they ask.

“This is so big, what do you do with it?”

“Can this cause us trouble or hurt us in any way?”

There are occasions after we’ve had to sit down and clarify to them what the pill is, and that it’s merely a brand new means to acquire info, and really comparable to a cell phone. I do not forget that’s the place I got here from, and I smile after I inform them not to fear or be petrified of the unknown gadget.

fulcrum survey fulcrum

People are sometimes interested by the pill and have a bunch of questions to ask
Photo Credit: NCF

Compiled and edited by Phalguni Ranjan.

Ganesha N. works as a Field Coordinator for the community-based conservation venture in the Western Ghats Programme at Nature Conservation Foundation.

Sanjay Gubbi works as a scientist with the Western Ghats Programme at Nature Conservation Foundation.

Phalguni Ranjan is a marine biologist working as a science and conservation communicator with the Western Ghats Programme at NCF.

This sequence is an initiative by the Nature Conservation Foundation, underneath their programme Nature Communication to encourage nature content material in all Indian languages. If you are in writing on nature and birds, please refill this form.

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