Welcome to Group Complete!
This article is a brief introduction to Group Complete and its concepts. Please note that the information below reflects the current state of Group Complete and that we are always working to make it better and useful for a wide range of applications.
If you have any questions about the concepts below and how they relate to your needs, please get in touch with us. We're happy to spend time with you to figure out how to best put Group Complete to work for you and your team.
What is Group Complete?
Group Complete is a mobile data collection system for Android smartphones and tablets.
Using Group Complete you can...
Build smart electronic forms and distribute them to your mobile team
Collect and share rich data & information with your co-workers in real-time
Aggregate, export & visualize results and easily manage your mobile deployment
...all from the convenience of your smartphone or tablet!
Group Complete makes these things possible by using a collaborative approach to remote data collection that allows your team members to work together from anywhere. Understanding the following key concepts will prepare you to deploy and use this powerful data collection tool.
Your Group Complete Account
At the heart of Group Complete is the Group Complete Account, created for you when you register your first mobile device with Group Complete. The person who creates this account becomes the account owner and has administrative control over the account on behalf of your team.
Your account contains all of the information used by your team including form templates, form data, folders for storing & organizing forms and their data and registered mobile devices. A licence number and key is issued to each account and emailed to the account owner when the account is created. By using the licence information, the account owner can register additional mobile devices with your Group Complete account on behalf of your team or pass it to specific team members thereby allowing them to register their own devices.
Group Complete Mobile for Smartphones & Tablets
Group Complete Mobile or GC Mobile is an app for Android smartphones & tablets that provides an interface to the information in your Group Complete account. GC Mobile will be installed on each device used for data collection and registered with your Group Complete account using the account licence key and number. This allows the user of the device to access forms & data shared by your team.
When registered with your account each mobile device is uniquely identified by an email address and automatically assigned a PIN. Using this and other information a device profile is created to represent the device in your Group Complete account. Aliases can be associated with each profile to help you better identify the user(s) or purpose of the mobile device (e.g, "Sam Smith", "North Warehouse B" or "New York Survey Team"). As the user of the device creates and updates information their profile (represented using the email address or alias, if one is provided) will be associated with their work. This enables you to determine who did what & when they did it.
A profile may be assigned to only one device at any given time however this does not mean that the profile is stuck with the device to which it was initially registered. Device profiles are flexible and can be moved from one device to another at any time using the licence number, key & profile PIN. This is useful if users change or a device is lost or needs to be upgraded.
A form template is a reusable document that determines which questions are asked, the order and organization of the questions and the types of data (e.g., signatures, barcodes, free-form text, photographs and so on) that will be gathered when the form is filled out. Form templates can range from simple, linear forms with only a few questions to complex and flexible forms that implement skip-logic (also known as decision trees or relevance-based questions) and conform to business rules.
GC Mobile features a built-in form builder that allows you to create, edit and share form templates directly from your smartphone. Form templates can also be imported from an Open Data Kit Aggregate server or other compatible systems that are based on XForm.
Forms & Data
Data is the information that is collected when a template is filled out. This information is combined with the associated form template to give you what is simply and commonly referred to as a "form." Every form has two possible statuses: draft or complete. These statuses represent work-in-progress or a finished form, respectively.
Much like the folders or directories that you find on your PC or Mac, Group Complete uses folders to organize forms and data and enables you to share these things with your team using shared folders (as opposed to private folders which are restricted to one person). When a template is filled out the resulting form is stored in the same folder as the template so you don't need to look in more than one place to find something.
Folders may be created for any reason, named and given descriptions to reflect their purpose. For example, your team might have a folder for surveys and others for inventory & inspections. Folders can also be created on a per-project basis if it best serves the needs of your team. The important thing to remember is that folders should be organized in such a way that your team members can quickly and easily get to the form that they need.
Folders may also be synchronized for offline use. When a folder is synchronized a copy of it is made on your mobile device so you can go offline and continue to work with your forms and data. When you're online, GC Mobile will perform automatic two-way synchronization of these folders keeping them up-to-date with their master copies. Even if you don't work offline you'll probably want to synchronize the folders that you use most often so that you always have fast access to your data.