Getting the Most out of MetaField® – Part 3:  Do-it-Yourself (DIY) Forms & Reports

MetaField offers its subscribers many unique and powerful capabilities offered by no other Field & Lab Information Management Systems.  One is its extraordinarily robust capability to develop data entry forms and reports from scratch.  Other providers may boast about their platforms’ capabilities in this area but they pale in comparison to what is offered through MetaField.

    • Intuitive:  with some minimal knowledge of a formula language structure, anybody can learn the intuitive interface for creating data entry forms and reports.
      Form Designer
    • Direct-to-database:  MetaField DIY form development shelters users from complicated or obsolete methods of attaching external documents such as XML or OLE.  Instead, user defined data fields are connected directly with the MetaField Microsoft SQL database enabling almost unlimited flexibility in the type and variety of data collected.   And of course, this data can be harvested for report generation as well as for csv file (readable by Excel) generation when a tabular data set is needed for other purposes such as data mining, data analysis, or integration into a billing process.
    • Native functionality – Beyond a free web browser and free PDF Reader, no 3rd party software is required to develop custom forms and reports: If an application requires other 3rd-party applications to operate, it complicates user management, administrative functions, development functions, and links the development of the platform itself to an independent software provider.  Your custom forms and reports in MetaField will not be dependent on a 3rd party software vendor’s maintenance program.
    • Offline Enabled:  End users can interact and enter data into forms whether they have an internet connection or not.  Offline data is stored on their local device and when MetaField senses a connection, it prompts them to upload their offline data.
    • Supports multiple contexts for data collection: MetaField enables the development of forms and reports for several different areas of business activity:
      • Field data collection for almost any field activity, observation, or test outside of the office or lab
      • Sample Management & Chain-of-Custody processes for almost any type of physical sample management
      • Lab Testing form and report development
  • Workflow Management:  MetaField enables non-programmers to actually develop the user interface forms directly and several features enable workflow management:
    • Generating multiple report types from one data entry screen enables optimizing data entry separately from optimizing report generation, management, and delivery.  Separation of the data entry process from the reporting or data analysis processes provides powerful flexibility and value well beyond what traditional form based engines can deliver.
    • Form visualization rules that enable multiple data entry paths based on the values entered.  Being able to direct the user down a particular path based on their responses enables true modeling of a complex process flow while sheltering user from the paths that are not relevant.

    Report Designer

  • Calculations and Graphing:  The calculation and graphing engine enables data generation through formula, similar to a spreadsheet formula writer.  It comes with a robust set of arithmetic operators, functions, and a graphing component.
  • Integrated:  Unlike many “solutions”, MetaField is not simply just a tool for entering data and generating reports.  It is a comprehensive line-of-business management system.  The DIY module is integral part of the system working with modules such as Scheduling & Dispatch and integrated with our other products such as AgileStamp®.

Agile Frameworks customers are utilizing MetaField DIY Forms & Reports for their CoMET operations as well in support of their other lines of business such as Special Inspections, Environmental Consulting, Construction Engineering & Inspection, Non-Destructive Engineering or Testing, etc.  Almost any line-of-business that requires tracking, analysis, and reporting of detailed content from a mobile or lab environment can deliver significant business value using MetaField.

Last and most certainly not least:  the MetaField DIY module is also being utilized by some of our customers as a critical component in supporting an enterprise safety program.  In fact, the next version of MetaField software scheduled for release in fall 2016 will have “Safety Built-In”.  Ask your Agile Frameworks contact about the MetaField Safety Program™ and what it can do to help engender a “Culture of safety” in your firm!