We know that there’s plenty of crucial information that doesn’t come from software or a sensor.
That’s where manual (input) meets digital.
With the manual input feature, we make it easy to bring data collected the low-tech way straight into the ZENSIE platform, and interact with that data alongside crop-level data, or data from a climate control system. And, as with all other data in ZENSIE, users can share, compare and collaborate with colleagues.
Creating a form template
Go to the main dropdown menu and select “manual input”.
Once you’ve selected manual input, you have two options: forms, and form templates.
First, create a template. That way you can use a form multiple times.
Click the + next to Form templates. As you fill in the information to create your form, you’ll see a preview on the right side of your screen.
Name your template and add a description.
You can then create columns by clicking on ‘add column’. In this example, we’ll create columns for spider mites, thrips, aphids, etc.
Choose an icon from the list that best fits the type of information you collect. In this case, we’ll go for the insect icon. Also, select a widget color (this is the single value widget color when added to your dashboard) and set the number of value decimals.
When you’ve finished customising, click “Create.” The template will be saved.
Templates can always be changed and customised after they’ve been created, but changes will be reflected in all forms created with an adjusted template. If you’d like to create a new form, while keeping an older template intact, we recommend creating a new template.
Creating a new form
To create a new form, click on the (+) next to forms.
Name the form and select an existing template. For example, the one you just created. If you haven’t created a template yet, click on ‘Create new template’ and go to the previous step in this documentation.
You can now select whether you want to use dates as rows or as sheets. We’ll explain this concept with an example in which we select the option ‘dates as rows’. In this case, weeks are visualized as follows:
This option is useful when you monitor the number of different kinds of insects, or the same species in different locations within the greenhouse or polytunnel. This way, each row in the sheet represents a different date and each column represents a different insect (as in the example) or a different location. When you use the same template it’s easy to compare the data.
Use the ‘date as sheet’ option when you want to sort the results by days or weeks. That way you can display different locations or projects as rows. It looks like this:
This is just an example and is not related to the set-up we’ve discussed so far.
Be sure to indicate the correct time zone. This is essential, as the observations you input will receive a time-stamp based upon the time-location, which will be needed to generate graphs.
Using manual input
You can now use a form to enter the values.
Click on ‘add sheet’ and name it.
Now click on ‘add row’.
Name the row and select the date on which you’ve entered or will enter the data. It is crucial that the date that you use matches the name you give the row (week numbers or days). Otherwise, you won’t be able to find the correct data. Fill out the values per field by clicking on it and entering the correct number.
You can always adjust the number. Just click or tap the field and change it. Once you’ve entered a row, you can simply add a new row by clicking on ‘add row’ again and follow the same steps as above.
You can also add comments and photos to the data input. As soon as you move your mouse over a field, this icon appears:
Click the icon and type a comment, @mention people within your organization and/or add images for more context.
Visualise your data with widgets
Manual input is, just like a sensor, a data source. This means that you can use different widgets to interpret the data in an easy way. Navigate to your dashboard (or create a new one) and click on ‘add widget’ to create a new graph, for example.
When creating a graph, you can select what data you want to use. In this case you can find and select your manual input data by entering the name of your form. In our example, this is greenhouse manual input.
Select which values you want to see in the graph. In this example, we select both spider mites and thrips. The widget displays the average values of multiple sheets by default, in this case ‘location 1’ and ‘location 2’. You can display these locations as separate lines in the graph by clicking on the gray box with ‘All avg’ and select the locations you would like to see.
Next step is choosing the correct date interval. Click on the “period” dropdown menu and select “custom start and end date” (scroll down).
Make sure you enter the correct start date and end date (preferably as close as possible to your last data entry). Select the “interval size” (again drop-down menu) that resembles the periods you have entered the data (per week/day/hour).
Click on ‘create’ and you are done.