Softcom Launches Data Collection Tool


Emma Okonji

Softcom Limited has launched a new integrated data collection tool, called DataBeaver. The tool was designed to address Africa’s challenge around paucity of accurate data for research and decision making in organisations.

Africa has a lot of data but lack access to accurate data collection for the purpose of research and decision making, Softcom therefore believes that by taking a procedural approach, it would make accurate data available and easily accessible to everyone. First, it is making data collection and analysis seamless. By allowing users to collect data using an app or via an API, Softcom is easing the process of data gathering.

Through its new data collection tool, the company plans to reel out insights and reports on specific industries and the economy that will serve corporates but also individuals in the public.

Announcing the new tool, the Vice President, Business Development at Softcom, Yvonne Ige, said: “One of the reasons why there is a scarcity of data in Africa is because it is expensive to collect data. Someone has to pay for it or commission a major data-gathering effort. Also, across the country, many areas are still saddled with low or no network connectivity, which makes real-time reporting difficult.

“With DataBeaver, we are working to collect data, analyse and democratise access to it in a way that everyone can benefit from its end result.”
As of now, DataBeaver is a data collection tool that allows people and businesses to collect any kind of data, whether there is internet connectivity or not. It is available on mobile and web channels. Agents on the field make use of the mobile application to collect data, while project managers make use of the web application to administer and monitor their data collection projects. Also, project managers can share web links to their forms or surveys without needing field agents. The idea for DataBeaver came out of the need Softcom observed in the industry. It was a need for real-time data capture, analysis and reporting, Ige said.

Speaking on why Softcom decided to build DataBeaver, the CEO at Softcom, Yomi Adedeji, said: “Over the years, while working across value chains that rely heavily on data for decision making, especially at retail, we observed a trend of wastage and frustration. When organisations wanted to understand their trade visibility and market share, they went into the field to carry out surveys, as a form of primary research. But by the time the entire data collection exercise was completed and analysed, the insights would have been outdated. These nation-wide surveys with big-budget, presented a huge loss to the organisation”.

Adedeji however said: “We built DataBeaver to save cost while driving growth for these businesses by providing access to accurate and timely data and insights.”