Why Use Mobile Technology to Help Conduct the Point in Time Count?
A key aspect of the PIT count is the count of individuals and households living on the street. Traditionally, communities have each approached the street count using teams of volunteers armed with paper forms. There is an inherent simplicity to this approach however there are limitations to the knowledge that can be gained including:
- The process of compiling counts from multiple paper sheets is labor intensive and error prone.
- There is a significant delay between when the paper surveys are completed and when the results can be tabulated;
- Paper forms are incapable of preventing a count volunteer from straying outside of his or her designated count area;
- With paper, there is no real-time communication between count administrators and volunteers. This can contribute to poor data quality as issues can persist throughout the night of the count and not be recognized until the count is over.
Mobile apps, such as the Point In Time Counting Tool and Counting Us, when used in conjunction with a secure database that is capable of receiving the data collected from these apps, can overcome these shortcomings of the paper survey approach.