Validated tools (sometimes known as ‘standardised’ or ‘off-the-shelf tools’) are questionnaires that have been statistically tested, so we know they measure what they are supposed to. They produce consistent results when used by different people or with different groups of service users.
Typically they have been designed by measurement experts and often include guidelines on data collection and analysis. Someone has invested time, skills and resources to develop, test and pilot them, so you don’t need to.
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.