Fulcrum is a cloud-based mobile data collection platform, designed to simplify the process of managing geographic data captured in the field. The platform consists of web-based form building, user management, and quality control tools, along with native mobile clients for fieldwork, and integration points for extensibility.
The Value of Field Data
The demand for fresh, actionable data is skyrocketing across all industries and disciplines. In this Age of Information, data is an increasingly valuable form of currency. Virtually every project requires (or would benefit from) some type of data collection. Engineers, scientists, conservationists, and archaeologists all apply their specific skill sets to tackle a specific problem in a particular geographic area. From inspecting bridges and utility poles to surveying sea turtle nesting sites and recording landmine clearing activities, accurate data provides the foundation for sound decision making.
A Proactive Approach
Beyond simply providing tools and services for collecting data, the Fulcrum platform encourages a proactive approach to the data collection process. The act of sitting down and building your app forces you to think through the design of the data structure. This important task is often overlooked when you head out into the field with just a clipboard and camera.
Engineers and scientists are tasked with solving problems and as consultants, often their only deliverable to the client is a report based on their findings. This report should be based on data that is clearly documented and can be independently reviewed. Fulcrum provides the tools that let professionals focus on their work without having to worry about IT hurdles.
How Fulcrum Works
Fulcrum is a complete data collection solution deployed on a Software as a service (SaaS) distribution model (no desktop software or plugins required). The main components of the platform include backend databases and servers, hosted in the AWS cloud, and native mobile clients for iOS and Android devices.
Sign up for an account, create a new organization or join an existing one, select one of our ready-made templates or build out a custom data collection form, sync your mobile device and begin capturing information from the field. Our mobile apps work offline so you can safely continue collecting data in a fully disconnected environment and sync up to the server once you are back online. Your data is safely stored in the cloud and can be accessed via the web or exported into a variety of standard formats for additional analysis or archiving. The Fulcrum Developer Pack provides access to advanced developer tools and APIs for programmatically accessing and updating the resources within your account.
Fulcrum is trusted by engineers, environmental researchers, power utilities, municipal governments, and others all across the globe for managing field service operations. It's the perfect tool for asset management, field audits, inspections, and inventory applications. Our flexible licensing model allows you to select the features you need and scale users as required, with both monthly and annual billing options.
Fulcrum enables you to build well-structured, highly customized data collection forms in a matter of minutes, directly from your web browser. Our drag-and-drop app designer lets you visually select from dozens of common form components, including text, numeric, timestamps, choice lists, geotagged photos, spatial video/audio, signatures, hyperlinks, barcodes calculations and more.
Field data collection requires a delicate balance of efficiency and integrity. Field technicians need to be able to capture a complete record of high-quality information as quickly as possible while on site. Well-designed forms reduce quality control issues and the need for back-office work.
To support this, every form field has conditional visibility and requirement logic settings. Any field can be marked as required, hidden, or read-only, and most support defaulting to the previously chosen value. Existing records can also easily be duplicated for additional productivity gains.
Highly advanced workflow customization can be scripted via Fulcrum Data Events, customizable actions that can be performed when certain events are triggered. Actions include custom alerts and validation messages, setting field values, choices, labels, descriptions, requirement & visibility settings, HTTP requests and more. Some examples of event triggers would be record loading, editing, validating, saving, or value changing.
Once your forms have been built, they can easily be deployed to your field teams and work can be assigned to individual technicians or grouped into projects. Members can be added to the organization, assigned to a customizable role, and given access to specific forms, projects, and map layers.
Field technicians simply need to install the free Fulcrum app for Android or iOS via the app stores and log in with their account credentials. Upon initial login, all the necessary forms, records, and associated assets will be synced down to their mobile device. Any changes made to forms will be automatically pushed down to the field devices upon their next sync.
New records can be created and existing records can be modified in the field regardless of network connectivity. All data is stored locally on the device and can be synced to the Fulcrum server once there is a network connection. Syncing the device pushes any new records into the central database and pulls down any existing records or changes to the form schemas.
Fulcrum’s Android & iOS mobile apps are true native apps, which makes them intuitive for users and incredibly stable, even with hundreds of thousands of records and associated photos. Built on the Google Maps SDK, Fulcrum particularly excels at geodata collection and management. Everything collected with Fulcrum can be automatically geotagged with GPS coordinates, allowing you to see all of your work on a map as it's happening. From incorporating your own custom maps, to reverse geocoding to determine an address and getting real-time driving directions, Fulcrum fully leverages the value of location.
Stakeholders get a bird’s-eye view of what’s happening in the field via Fulcrum’s visualization, quality assurance, and data management tools. Built-in activity streams allow you to monitor productivity, see who is active in the field, and how your crews are progressing. Every record is versioned in the Fulcrum database, with simple but powerful tools for tracking changes and ensuring accountability.
Reports can be generated from the field or the office and emailed to stakeholders in real-time, or data can be exported in a variety of standard formats for analysis in GIS, Spreadsheet, or Business Intelligence software.
Fulcrum was designed to be extensible and developer-friendly, allowing you to integrate your own database systems, set up custom notifications, and build custom integrations using our REST API.
Data Shares provide an easy way to publish real-time data feeds in standard CSV, KML, or GeoJSON formats, for sharing raw data or integrating with other Business Intelligence, GIS, or Asset Management systems.
Webhooks can provide push notifications so Fulcrum can notify your systems whenever anything happens in your organization.
REST API endpoints can be used for querying, creating, updating, and deleting objects.
Query API provides read-only access to your Fulcrum forms, records, and other tables (repeatables, choice lists, members, media, etc.) by allowing you to execute standard SQL statements against the database.
Fulcrum Desktop Sync can be configured to intelligently sync Fulcrum organization data to your own on-site or cloud-hosted database.