Data Collection and Processing

Collecting and Processing data involves clearly defining “Who or what” you will study or evaluate and “When” you will do so. You should consider the demographic characteristics of your study participants (e.g., age, gender) and whether you will have access to these participants, over time, to ensure quality data collection. Instruments and measures you have selected and the characteristics of your study participants should guide decisions about the timing (i.e., pre, post, annually) and format (i.e., paper or electronic instruments) of data collection.

Additionally, you must consider how your data will be managed and prepared for analyses. Thinking about the organization of your data prior to data collection will facilitate efficient data entry, cleaning, and management. Depending upon the type and quantity of data you intend to collect, many types of research and statistical software programs or platforms (e.g., Qualtrics, SPSS, NVivo) can assist in managing and preparing your data for analysis.

Tools for Data Collection and Processing

There are a plethora of resources and tools that can assist you in collecting and processing your research or evaluation data.