Would you consider using a scouting tool that didn’t support offline scouting?

  • Not supporting offline scouting would be a dealbreaker for my team
  • Not supporting offline scouting would not be a dealbreaker for my team
0 voters
1 Like

If there wasnt the ability to collect data while offline and move to an online server later, no. Internet connection is a variable that cannot be controlled, and is not something I would want to risk a tournament on.

8 Likes

I can guarantee half the FNC events wont have public WIFI, and the few events that do get so bottle necked you might as well not have WIFI :joy:

It was pretty hit & miss at Colorado and Houston to some degree. I think having some way to collect offline is worth it, but there probably are places it’d be fine.

You probably also want a way to collect data without relying on pulling match schedules/team lists from APIs

5G/4G can be relatively reliable.

2 Likes

My team has never had any issues regarding connection (either using free wifi / cellular) at southern California regionals. We use a completely completely web based scouting system for both viewing and submitting data.

relatively reliable

The issue here isnt that internet isnt “relatively reliable,” but that it isnt 100% reliable. Scouting is a mission-crticial system, not something to risk on internet that could even potentially be spotty.

5 Likes

We used a combination of paper sheets and google sheets. In FMA we didn’t have a single issue with connection. At Houston that was a different story and on the day of alliance selection I couldn’t access our sheets (which would have only been used as supportive data for our captains). Maybe next season I will look into a solution with offline support, but also I could have downloaded our sheets at the hotel before considering alliance selection was first thing in the morning

No scouting system is going to be 100% reliable. We run the Viper scouting system on a portable server (Raspberry Pi) and connect tablets to it with wired USB ethernet to upload data. Tablet batteries run out, dongles break, scouters forget to start scouting at the beginning of the match. We usually miss some match data here and there.

Web based scouting would be fine even if the internet worked 95% of the time at an event. Our scouting system stores the data on the tablets. If the internet isn’t available for a time, that data isn’t lost, the upload just gets delayed.

For us, the issue with online scouting is:

  1. None of our regular season events have WiFi.
  2. Our scouting tablets don’t have SIM cards.
  3. At some of our events half our team doesn’t have cell phone service (usually depends on the carrier).

The only event the we scouted direct to the cloud this year was Battlecry at WPI because the WPI WiFi is fantastic. We usually scout to our portable server and the sync the data to the cloud using somebody’s cell phone. We also transfer scouting data using runners and USB sticks.

Not a deal breaker but a big negative, must have other benefits to make it worth while

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Yup, a system that has a zero-connection required backup form of collection is perfectly fine in my eyes. As long as data can be collected centrally in some form at some point, you are able to achieve a scouting app that is resilient to temporary outages, perfectly acceptable to use.

Sometimes it is. Sometimes the gym is built like a fortified bunker with thick concrete walls and no windows and apparently rebar arranged into a faraday cage.

Out home school just built a new Aux Gym and it has no cell service PERIOD. Walls are like 14ft thick concrete, other than the foyer it is all thick concrete and rebar…

Seems overkill

Originally I said deal breaker but then I remembered 253 has been doing google forms/sheets for the past 6 years with relatively no issues. I dislike that using student data plans is what makes the system viable, but I find some solace in knowing the average scout uses more data goofing off during their downtime than filling out a text form (and unlimited data plans are becoming more commonplace).

Most of 253’s events are in high schools, convention halls, and university event centers. We haven’t been to worlds in a while so I can’t comment on the viability when cell networks are at capacity.

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It really depends on where you are and how are the facilities. speaking as an Israeli didnt yet had a comp that didnt have cell service so online scouting works perfect for us for the real time updates which are great.