5 reasons to upgrade your data collector to a survey tablet


If someone handed you a Nokkia 5110 to run your business you would likely laugh them out of the room…..after playing snake for a few minutes.

The same could also be said for today’s smart phone, if it doesn’t have a data plan then it’s just a phone and not very smart at all, certainly not smart enough to help run your business.

I could even go one step further and suggest that if your data isn’t centrally stored and accessible remotely then you might as well keep playing snake on the 5110.

So why do I still see so many projects and surveyors using old data collectors when we are all using smartphones in our daily lives?

The mobile computing market has had some big changes that have directly affected the surveying and construction industry in a very positive way.

In terms of point positioning you can only store points as fast as you can walk and whilst improvements to GNSS and robotic total station equipment do make incremental improvements, the vast amount of productivity is really achieved through the field controller and software. The good news is that these have the lowest impact to your budget and highest impact to your productivity.

So here is why I think you should upgrade you survey controller today.

1. Performance

Gone are the days when you had small project files or the time to disseminate what you need for your work. Often the project file is the entire job and your work needs to be done yesterday. This is where the power of a full-featured Windows tablet comes into its own, handling huge files at lightning speed.

The extra grunt also allows software developers to look at 3D and a range of other visualisation features to help you make decisions in the field.

2. Flexibility

The old style data collectors are good for only one thing, collecting or setting out data. The same is not true for the modern tablet. These are consumer level devices and the good ones will come standard with Windows 10. This mean you can run your field software, office processing, word processing, spreadsheets, accounting, time sheets….should I keep going…..it’s likely more powerful than the computer you’re reading this on. Don’t pigeon hole the device for a single purpose, use it for the complete end to end management of your business and maximise your investment by making it your all-in-one survey and business computer.

3. Mobility

Just like a smartphone without a data plan, a survey tablet without a data plan isn’t very smart. If you’re not managing data remotely, getting support remotely, managing people remotely then I’m afraid you simply won’t be in business for too much longer. People’s time is likely the biggest cost in your business and keeping them productive is essential to managing that cost. The right data, accessed remotely from a common location is a key to this success and cloud computing has opened the door for companies of all sizes to have instantly deployable productivity applications to manage all aspects of the business.

4. Gen-Y demands it, and your business needs them

This might throw some of you but Gen Y’s primary motivation for choosing an employer won’t be money……..sounds crazy but stay with me. Technology is a key factor in their choice. If you’re taking advantage of cloud productivity on a modern survey tablet then you’re far more likely to attract and keep the best of the next generation. The same can’t be said if you hand them a Set-2 with a field book and pencil!

5. Price

The survey market and the consumer market have finally met and the result is the survey tablet. Unlike the old SDR33s, TDS Rangers and Juniper Allegros, the modern tablets are used by a huge range of markets, reducing manufacturing unit costs and passing the savings onto end users. A survey tablet with all the above advantages is still around $1,500-$2,500 less than a ‘data collector’ equivalent.

Call one of our offices today on your Cloud-connected smartphone and we’ll improve your surveying experience just like the smartphone has for the rest of your life…..

7 Must have features for a new survey tabletclick here

Article by:  Cameron Waters – National Product Manager – Geospatial

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