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Building a Recruitment and Retention Plan

Data Collection Overview

Several distinct activities are necessary for data collection. These activities are:
  • Collecting Data using the methods and techniques outlined in the evaluation plan. This may include administering an informed consent form in the case of interviews or certain types of observations, ensuring confidentiality, and ensuring anonymity where appropriate.
  • Inspecting and cleaning/editing to ensure that the data collected does not contain recording errors. When possible, such errors may be edited or corrected as long as the data accurately reflects the given response.
  • Coding (where applicable). For certain automated tabulations, transforming data into codes or entering codes onto a separate document may be needed to expedite the tallying process.
  • Entering data (where applicable). For certain automated tabulations, data may be entered directly or from coding sheets into a computer.
  • Tallying/totaling – calculating totals of the data, according to the methods and techniques outlined in the evaluation plan.
  • Generating a usable product. Depending on the extent of the evaluation, a paper or multimedia presentation of the totals assembled from the collecting, consolidating, and totaling of the data may be appropriate.
For each of these activities, it is important to have a working plan which addresses all of the following:
  • Staff assignments;
  • Timeframe;
  • Supervision;
  • Work location(s); and
  • Expected end product.
The product of this activity is the collected, consolidated, and totaled data which will be used to determine the effectiveness of the intervention effort.

There is a wide variety of methods for collecting data as well as numerous procedures for tallying the results.

Data may be collected via surveys, existing archival trend data, observations, record review, focus groups, unstructured interviews, and open-ended questions on a self-administered survey. Consequently, appropriate data consolidation procedures will depend on the choice of data collection methods.

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