Collecting information

Almost all CityGrows processes include at least one “Collect Information” step. These  function like online forms – they allow you to have a constituent or someone on your team add new information into the process.

When you start the setup, you'll have the option to decide whether an external applicant (resident or business) will complete the step or someone internal to your organization. You'll also see options to make a step "Modifiable" (an applicant can change their responses after the step is complete) and the option to request a signature when the step is completed.

First, you add sections to your forms (they have blue bars on top), and then individual fields to those sections. You can move sections around using the up and down arrows, and add instructions to sections (click on the 3 lines on top of each other in the blue section header). Then start adding fields! You have many types of information you can collect – text, phone numbers, emails, and you can even accept file uploads.There are 12 different field types available as part of the "Collect Info" step. For each field you decide what to call it - whether it's required - and whether it will be included in open data. (You're also able to add Logic at the section level. Click here to learn more about how to make sections appear conditionally.)

Text: Use this when you expect to receive a short phrase or word.
Paragraph text: Same as text, but with more space. Use this when you expect to receive full sentences or paragraphs.
Email: A standard email address ([email protected])
Number (no decimal): An integer. Use this when you only want to allow whole numbers (1, 2, 35, 400, etc)
Number (with decimal): A number with the option to add a decimal point (45.2, 0.1, 3.14159). Use this for things like measurements and ratios.Money ($USD)
Address: A mappable address. Our address fields will automatically find the location and plot it on a map.
Date: A calendar date.
Multiple choice (select one): You'll add a list of answers, and applicants will select one answer only.
Checkboxes (select many): You'll add a list of answers, and applicants will select one or more answers (no answer is also acceptable). For both multiple choice and checkboxes, you can decide which order you want the answers to appear in.
File: Receive a file. We accept almost any file type (image, .doc, xls, .csv).  
Phone number: Accept a phone number.
Organization: Utilize CityGrows' Directory and Organization functions to keep static information on businesses and organizations in your system and make repeat form completion easier and information in your system more robust.  Learn more here.

Why can't I just use the "text" data type for everything?

You could, but then you'd miss out on the benefits of using CityGrows! Choosing the correct field types for your data does a couple of great things:

  • It ensures that people don't accidentally enter the wrong information.
  • It protects against mistakes. For example, the system will not accept a phone number that is too short or an email address that's missing an @ sign.
  • It allows you to get better insights into how your processes are being used.
  • It allows us to create automatic data visualizations related to the type of data being collected.

If you don't see the type of field you're looking for, please get in touch using the chat icon at the lower right of your screen and let us know.

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