Author Archives: DataDyne

New Magpi Plus Adds Accessibility Options

New accessibility features help ALL our users use Magpi to the fullest We’re pleased to announce that our new Magpi Plus, which is currently in testing and will be released very soon, is now fully compatible with accessibility features for both Android and iOS — for greater convenience and functionality for all users, particularly those with vision special needs, or with difficulties in reading. Say it (out) loud, say it proud As one example, vision-impaired users, or those with dyslexia or other special needs, can now utilize Apple’s “VoiceOver” technology (learn how to activate VoiceOver) or Android’s “TalkBack” (learn how to activate TalkBack) to read any button or text on their Magpi screens just by tapping on it. This includes the text of any question or option in a Magpi form. For our Magpi users working in a multicultural environment, this means that your data collectors can choose to have the questions read to the respondent, rather than reading it themselves. Different font sizes for different users Magpi will also now take note if the user has specified larger font sizes in their device system settings (learn how for iOS | learn how for Android).

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Magpi Now Integrates With 1,000 Other Products

Integration with 1000 Apps — with No Programming! Can Your Mobile Data Collection Software Do That? At Magpi, we know that getting your work done requires many different tools. In fact, the average organization uses between 10 and 16 different apps on a daily basis. You have your email app, note-taking tool, cloud storage tool, team communication app, databases and word processing, along with project management tools and various to-do lists.

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India Study Tracks Afib with Magpi, RedCap, and AliveCor

A new study just published in BMJ describes using Magpi to track afib (atrial fibrillation) using multiple other tools, including AliveCor heart monitoring, RedCap clinical information systems, Stata analytics, and more . From the study authors: Based on our prior experience, we use the Magpi platform to administer questionnaire-based surveys to the participants. Magpi allows for off-line data collection in smartphones and tablets through a user-friendly app and uploads collected data to a secure server once the device connects to the Internet. The files from the AF screening apps (AliveCor and ANAND) are downloaded to a personal computer from the phones using iTunes. Results from the automated algorithm of AF screening apps and all abnormal AliveCor ECG tracings are uploaded to REDCap

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Introducing Magpi Plus

Introducing Magpi Plus: A Completely New Magpi We’re incredibly excited to announce a completely new, written-from-the-ground-up, version of our Magpi mobile app, called Magpi Plus (or Magpi+).  As we move forward Magpi Plus is going to be the center of Magpi’s app-based innovation (while we will continue to support the existing “Magpi” apps for Android and iOS). Right now Magpi+ is available as an Android beta release (please use for testing only) for anyone who is interested in helping us test prior to full release in December 2017.  We’ll release an iOS version shortly, too.

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SMS-based Ebola Community Surveillance in Sierra Leone

In July 2015, in the aftermath of the Ebola outbreak, local and international Red Cross partners used Magpi to implement a “community event-based surveillance system (CEBS) using SMS”.  The community surveillance began in three districts of the country: Port Loko, Koinadugu and Bonthe. SLRCS volunteers, both community- based volunteers and volunteer supervisors were recruited from their communities and trained in the purpose of CEBS, signs and symptoms of the chosen events and diseases, how to report the cases by SMS to SLRCS headquarter, and trained in the stages of the surveillance from the detection of the cases to the reporting, the verification and the response. The volunteers were expected to be active in their community; inform the community about signs and symptoms and encourage the community members to report to the volunteer if they-or anyone they knew experienced any of these. The volunteers reported the suspected cases including which sign or symptom that was observed and which measures had been taken at community level, and supported the national health authorities in the response.

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NCA Invests in Magpi

As recently reported on their website, NCA (Norwegian Church Aid) has recently selected Magpi for their mobile data collection activities: NCA has invested in Magpi, a digital data collection tool with cloud-based mobile collection, communication, and data visualization tools to improve effectiveness in the way data is collected, managed and analysed. At a recent training in Zambia, participants from Norway, Zambia, Malawi and elsewhere learned about Magpi’s capabilities and use, “with a specific focus on key concepts in the survey design process, practical use, data protection and ethics”.  The hope is that Magpi can help save time and money, and improve data quality. Read the full post at NCA’s website.

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Barcodes, Signatures, Ranking and Fingerprints Coming Soon to Magpi!

Three New Question Types – with More to Come! We’re very pleased to announce that over the course of 2017 we’ll be adding a wide variety of useful new question types for use with the Magpi mobile data collection app, with three new question types coming in just about one month.  In this post we’ll discuss the new question types that will be released first with sketches (“mockups”) of the new features to give you an idea of what they’ll look like. Mockup of signature question Signature Questions (Pro and Enterprise users) Later this month we’ll be releasing signature questions, which allow you to sign your name on the screen of the mobile device with your finger, and save the signature as an image file.

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Using SMS for Conference Feedback

Magpi started as a mobile data collection system using mobile apps – and that part of Magpi is still going strong after 15 years.  More recently, though, we’ve been gratified to see many users utilizing Magpi to simplify another common activity: getting conference feedback.   Magpi’s iSMS data collection option makes it incredibly easy to let audience members, students, etc, let you know what they think about their class, the presentation, or what they want to have for lunch. How to create an SMS feedback system 1 – create a free Magpi account at 2 – log into Magpi and click New to create a new form 3 – add your questions to your new form 4 – deploy the form Deploying your SMS form In order to have people provide conference feedback by SMS, you’ll need to initiate SMS sessions with each one.

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Using Magpi for Global Health Research

Although Magpi is now used for many purposes in many sectors, it was born from a need to do global health research and evaluation in the field (did you know the original name of Magpi was “EpiSurveyor” = “epidemiological survey tool”).  So even today, one of the things that we’re most enthusiastic about is when we learn about practitioners and clinicians and researchers using Magpi mobile data collection to advance health science all around the world. Of course, Magpi’s model — allowing users to simply sign up for free at and start using the software, without any meetings or approval — means that in most cases we don’t know when someone is using the software.  But once in awhile Google helps us find great examples of Magpi use for health purposes, and below are four of our favorites: Assessment of Surgical Needs in Nepal Using Mobile Devices: Mobile Data Collection in a Developing Country Eugenia E.

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SMS Election Monitoring in Kenya

SMS Election Monitoring for a Peaceful Election in Kenya One week ago, on August 8, 2017, elections were held in the East African country of Kenya.  In the lead up to the vote, and in the immediate aftermath, there were grave concerns that election violence might stain the result – as it did in 2007 when post-election violence took the lives of around 1300 people, and caused untold economic damage to the country from reduced tourism. Simon Wanjiru ELOG PVT manager This year, as in 2007, the election result was disputed by the opposition, but unlike in that previous election, this year Kenya’s Elections Observations Group, (ELOG) consisting of civil society and faith-based organizations, is equipping about 1/3 of its 5700 observers with the ability to report election results by SMS. This SMS election monitoring approach, an example of “Parallel Vote Tabulation” (PVT) allows the calculation of an election result based on the sample selected.

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Guest Post: Honoring US Veterans by Rehabilitating Gravesites

Editor’s Note: we’re grateful to Aidan Scialfa and Boy Scout Troop 55 in New Orleans, Louisiana for this report on using Magpi to serve their community, and our veterans. Honoring US veterans Aiden Scialfa, a Boy Scout with Troop 55 in New Orleans, Louisiana, wanted his Eagle Scout project to be something special. He was determined to help in honoring US veterans by rehabilitating their headstones and graves. He visited his former NJROTC commander, Bruce Nolan at Brother Martin High School and asked if he could help arrange this.

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New Magpi-Dropbox Photo Integration

Dropbox Photo Integration Comes to Magpi We’re very happy to announce new Dropbox photo integration that will give our users much more complete and flexible control over their photos.  Dropbox is a product that everyone at Magpi uses every day, so we know from experience it’s a great solution – and free for basic use! Beginning July 28th, if you collect photo data with Magpi, your photos will be stored in your Dropbox account (but still also visible in Magpi). Leveraging the Best of the Internet Magpi was the first web-based data collection solution available for global health, and for nearly 15 years we’ve been working to integrate with the very best online tools available, including Google products, Zapier, OpenFn, Salesforce, and more.

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Guest Post: The Ups and Downs of Mobile Data Collection

Guest Post by Sairah Yusuf, Research, Monitoring & Evaluation Specialist, Generations For Peace Institute (GFP), Since May 2016, Generations For Peace (GFP) has used mobile-based data collection methods to survey close to 3500 people across the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region – 1241 from 10 communities in Lebanon, 1274 across 24 school-based locales in Jordan, and 1073 across 3 governorates in Tunisia. For the organisation, this has been a massive expansion in terms of data collected via mobiles, and it has brought with it plenty of learning opportunities. Building on both our successes and our often-embarrassing hiccups, this blog post offers some practical tips for completing large-scale data collection using mobile phones. “For GFP, the key takeaway point is that using mobile data collection software like Magpi has allowed us to significantly scale up our ability to collect and analyse data in diverse contexts.” Mobile Data Collection: A Solution to (Almost) All Our Problems The advantages of mobile data collection have been well documented. Software providers like Magpi have published data collection guides that list out benefits in detail.

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Guest Post: Monitoring Humanitarian Activities in Syria

Guest Post by Agron Ferati, Executive Director of International Advisory, Products and Systems (i-APS), In its sixth year, the highly complex and intensive Syrian civil war has spread across the country. As the Syria humanitarian situation has continued to deteriorate, the protracted and ongoing war has left more than 13.5 million Syrians in need of assistance.[1] Humanitarian access remains constrained by shifting frontlines, administrative and bureaucratic hurdles, violence along access routes, and safety and security concerns. In this context, the use of remote management and monitoring of activities through mobile data collection tools is essential to the successful delivery of aid programs. Using Magpi, International Advisory, Products and Systems (i-APS) provides third-party monitoring services to Global Communities for its Syrian Relief and Resiliency Program which will reach more than 125,000 beneficiaries to improve their living conditions through the provision of agricultural inputs, quality shelter solutions, and protection assistance.

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