How to collect data
Choose the best methods to collect data for your programme or service
Data collection usually combines a few different methods. Broadly speaking, you should collect user, engagement and feedback data on a routine basis. It might be better to collect outcomes data from a smaller, representative group less frequently. The pages below will help you think about what is appropriate and proportionate for your programme or service.
Surveys are a key method of data collection. This guide explains how to create and analyse surveys.Find out more
Interviews can compliment data collection. This quick guide explains how to conduct effective interviews.Find out more
Focus groups are a good way to explore views in more depth. Thinking of running one? This guide can help.Find out more
Case studies involve looking in-depth at individual cases. This quick guide outlines how to utilise them.Find out more
This quick guide looks at how to collect data more creatively, such as video, diaries and storytelling.Find out more
This quick checklist outlines the six key principles you should ethically consider for conducting research.Find out more
Observation can help you gain data from a users perspective. This guide explains how to do this effectively.Find out more
Quantitative and qualitative data differ. Understand when to use each and how to collect them.Find out more
Sampling is useful when you have lots of users. This guide explains how to sample in 5 easy steps.Find out more
Validated tools have been tested for their reliability. Find out the pros and cons of using them.Find out more
Organisations need a data system to store data about users. This guide explains how best to choose one.Find out more
Feedback is a useful source of data for impact management. This will show you how to collect it effectively.Find out more
The data diagnostic asks 10 multiple choice questions about what your programme or service is, how it works and who it targets. It then provides a tailored report that discusses what kind of data you should consider collecting and how.