Fulcrum is an application that allows scientists to collect data and maintain entries generated on-site while conducting research, and helps prevent data loss due to random accidents. In today’s era, mobile applications are very valuable and useful tools for us, enabling us to perform various functions that were previously unimaginable. Now there are applications specially designed to collect data effectively for later use in communication, analysis, etc. These applications allow us to collect large and extensive data and retrieve it quickly and easily. In view of our data dependence, we began to use an application called Fulcrum to assist in data collection.

Earlier, when there was no Fulcrum, we had to investigate dozens of villages, which made it difficult for us to record all the information in the data sheet. Over time, maintaining data records and organizing hundreds of pages of data entry becomes even more difficult. Data loss is the biggest problem we face with paper. We have lost some valuable data, including rainfall, abnormal weather conditions, paper tears and some random accidents that are inevitable when using paper. Data that has been lost is as good as data that has been lost forever. Once we switched to using the tablet and mobile app Fulcrum, things changed.

The team uses a tablet to collect data from the field, thereby eliminating the need for easily damaged data tables
Image source: NCF

I come from a small village located in the center of the Mahadeswara Mountain Wildlife Sanctuary in Malay. I have never used any gadgets before, only a simple phone. This is a huge change for me. ! Naturally, this is a learning curve. We all made a lot of mistakes at first, but once we got good at it, we didn’t return to using paper! It allows me to keep pace with the times and use technology to carry out community work, which brings me great happiness and joy.

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The tablet is easy to carry. The large screen is easy to operate, durable and has a protective cover, so even a few drops of water will not panic on the screen. Fulcrum provides an interface in which we have customized the required data fields, and all we have to do is enter the data. It’s a lot like filling out a form online-easy, fast and worry-free.

As long as there is an Internet connection, all the data we enter on the tablet will be uploaded to the cloud during synchronization and can be downloaded for analysis when it is convenient. This also reduces our workload, which would otherwise spend a lot of time manually entering data on the computer. It even reduces the chance of human error when we manually enter large amounts of data.

With a tablet computer, we set out to investigate and collect a lot of data from the villages, in these villages we have identified the beneficiaries of our various projects, in these villages, we provide alternatives to firewood, and by providing solar lighting Lights and crop fences ease the conflict between humans and wild animals. Some typical data categories include socio-economic information of beneficiaries, their fuelwood collection and use methods, geographic location, etc.


In order to determine the baseline usage and reduce the usage after using LPG, we weighed the amount of firewood collected by each beneficiary twice, each for 7 days.Just enter the value and date in the app to easily collect such a large amount of data
Image source: NCF

Our experience in this technology is not without problems. In some cases, incorrect synchronization will cause us to lose some valuable fuelwood weighing data. This is an extremely difficult loss because it takes us more than a week to collect a village. But we have made adjustments and have done a better job in dealing with minor faults and solving them gradually.

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Overall, this device is a very effective tool when used with a mobile application, which can easily record large amounts of information. We also recorded the number of animals and birds found in the field work without any extra effort, which previously required us to draft specific data sheets and spend extra time to complete tasks.

Looking ahead, if we convert all the Fulcrum data collected in the past 4 years into an A4 data sheet, we will easily fill a large truck with a lot or more. The most surprising part is that we save all the paper, just move it to a small tool half the size of A4 paper, and reduce an application that can do most of the work for us, and we can reduce kilograms. Garbage and hours of manual labor.

In our survey of various remote villages, when we took out the labels to record the information, the locals were full of innocent curiosity because it was too new for them.

“What is this, sir?” they asked.

“So big, how do you deal with it?”

“Will this cause us trouble or harm us in any way?”

Sometimes we have to sit down and explain to them what a tablet is. This is just a new way of collecting information, very similar to a mobile phone. I remember that was where I came from, and I smile when I tell them not to worry or fear unknown gadgets.

Pivot point

People are usually curious about tablets and have many questions to ask
Image source: NCF

Edited and edited by Phalguni Ranjan.

Ganesha N. is the site coordinator of the community-based conservation project in the Western Ghats Program of the Nature Conservation Foundation.

Sanjay Gubbi is a scientist in the Western Ghats Project of the Nature Conservation Foundation.

Phalguni Ranjan is a marine biologist and serves as a science and nature conservation communicator in the Western Ghats program of NCF.

This series is a project initiated by the Nature Conservation Foundation under its Nature Communication Program to encourage natural content in all Indian languages. If you are interested in writing articles about nature and birds, please fill out this form.

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