Data Collection Methods - Overview
Making use of existing computer data.
Often the information that needs to be shared already exists on a computer already. The difficulty is in easily collecting the data and formatting it for transmission and use by the recipients. EC Dynamics provides a wide range of options to collect existing data.
A data file containing the information is generated from the client system using their home grown script. The file can be supplied to the EC Dynamics web server for processing using one or more of these methods:
- as an Email attachment
- Web based import interface
- as an FTP file transfer
- via the EC Global Dynamics TranSendIT system
The data received can be edited by authorized parties prior to final distribution and formatted to match the needs of the companies receiving the data.
The use of ODBC drivers and a "Select Statement" allows a user to pull shipment data directly from existing internal systems. Using the ODBC link, files and databases are accessed in real time, reflecting current status of transactions. There is no need to write files for export. An optional intermediate step allows the user to select specific transactions for additional editing before sending the data to another party. The ODBC link can be run from within the EC Global Dynamics TranSendIT system or via a web based interface.
Many companies are able to create spreadsheets or "flat" files containing the desired information. In fact, many of the reports that are printed and faxed between companies are Excel files. The EDI-Link automates the creation of shipment data files directly from the Excel or flat files that are currently being produced. The EDI-Link "pulls" the data from the files in any of four ways:
- By emailing the file(s) to the EC Dynamics web server
- As the file is being printed using the EC Dynamics EDI-Link: Print Driver
- By printing the forms to a PDF file, then emailing the PDF file to the EC Dynamics web server
- By printing the file to a PDF file, then posting the PDF file to the internet via the EC Dynamics EDI-Link upload page
No computer data easily accessible.
This is not a problem, as we offer several other solutions to collect data.
Capturing Data from EXISTING Reports and Forms
Imagine being able to create a computer readable data file simply by printing a form or report. The EDI-Link does exactly that. The EDI-Link "pulls" the data from forms in any of three ways:
- As the reports or forms are being printed, using the EC Dynamics EDI-Link: Print Driver;
- By printing the forms to a PDF file, then emailing the PDF file to the EC Dynamics web server;
- By printing the forms to a PDF file, then posting the PDF file to the internet via the EC Dynamics upload page
Users are not required to change internal operations, as current forms are used. Each customer can use multiple, custom forms.
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- Fillable Forms and Input Screens
Web fillable forms are an excellent alternative for companies collecting "original" data. The forms and screens are accessed directly on the web and allow the creation and distribution of PDF files as well as computer readable files. Instead of entering the same information on a series of forms, we use single point entry screens. Once the data is entered, the necessary forms and reports can be printed.
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Using the EC Global Dynamics TranSendIT system, the shipper or third party enters Shipment information for the purpose of creating the required documentation and transmitting the information electronically. A variety of options exist to simplify manual data capture, including the ability to copy and paste from an excel file and the use of Kits that automatically expand the product selected into its component parts.
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Recognizing that in many cases the shipment data that can be captured does not contain every required field, extensive use is made of optional external databases.
These databases allow a user to store product and other related information not available in their internal data systems. Information stored in the databases is used to fill in the "missing" fields as the shipment data file is created. This prevents a user from having to make changes to internal data structures and/or reports to store or capture data fields.