Mobile survey app DataField makes the world flatter by helping companies understand Asia
October 18, 2012 by Terence LEE
Every company wants to cash in on Asia, widely touted as a region of growth. But simply plonking Western products into Eastern markets using the same marketing methods don’t work. They need to understand local markets and consumer behavior.
DataField wants to make the process of data collection easier. Based in Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam, DataField is a startup that is digitizing the entire process of getting field data through web and mobile apps. Pollsters can download an app to their smartphones, head out to the streets and conduct surveys. No internet connection is necessary for the app to work.
Once the results are stored, they can be immediately uploaded to the cloud administrators can view a summary from the web dashboard. The data is stored in CSV format, allowing users to shape it any way they like or run it through statistical software. They can filter the data by location and other criteria.
The name DataField suggests wide-ranging usage. And that is indeed the case. L’Oreal in Vietnam, for instance, has engaged Data-Field to help collect inventory and sales figures and rate how clean the shops are. The app will also be used to take pictures of their product positioning and those of their competitors.
The enterprise startup is targeting 2 key customers. The first are market research companies and consumer brands tackling huge markets around the world and want to find out about customer behavior and preferences. The second are companies with field workers (technicians, for example) who need an app to capture data or collect feedback on-site.
By digitizing on-the-ground data collection, it is making the world flatter for companies. As lucrative as Asia can be, national borders, language differences, as well as cultural and economic diversity add friction to business expansion.
DataField eliminates the traditional and cumbersome pen-and-paper approach that saps a lot of time — especially when the data needs to be interpreted and analysed.
It helps that it is situated in Southeast Asia too, and the co-founder, Antoine Deroche, is looking to possibly set up an office in Singapore.
The company started off as an IT development company set up by Antoine and his CTO. But due to numerous client requests for a data collection solution, they soon pivoted to where they are now.
DataField released their apps 8 months ago, and only launched their tiered premium plans a few weeks back. They have accumulated about 250 users (administrators) so far, and are starting to see some of them adopt higher-tier plans.
Antoine has also observed a recent acceleration in customer adoption. Most of the customers are in the United States and Europe for now, but more interest has recently come from Vietnam.
Besides generating revenue from a freemium model, DataField has already begun receiving money for customizing their apps and adding features for clients.
With USD 100,000 in angel investment so far and a techically-inclined team of 8, it already launched localized versions of their services in English, French, and Vietnamese. Indonesian, Chinese, and Thai version are coming soon.
DataField is also raising their next round of funding.
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About The Author
Terence LEE - Editor
Terence writes mainly about technology trends and startups in Asia. He believes in crafting smart content: Not just a regurgitation of text, but well thought-out pieces that serve the reader using a combination of data, design, narratives, analysis, and visual impact. His articles have been published on Venturebeat, Yahoo!, Straits Times, Today, and The Online Citizen. He also co-founded NewNation.sg, a satirical news site covering Singapore affairs. Engage him on LinkedIn and Twitter.Read other posts by Terence LEE