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.
There are a plethora of resources and tools that can assist you in collecting and processing your research or evaluation data.
Qualtrics is an online survey software that supports survey development, distribution, data collection, and reporting. It also allows survey sharing with full or partial functionality, with other Qualtrics users. This software provides a user-friendly space for collecting, monitoring, and tracking data over time (e.g., pre, post, delayed-post) for your study. Through the Qualtrics Support website, you can access a variety of articles, manuals, and tools to troubleshoot your data collection and processing tasks.
NVivo is one of several software programs used in qualitative data analysis (QDA). QDA software assists with organizing, coding, synthesizing, and retrieval of qualitative data from sources such as interview transcripts, observation field notes, memos, and published literature. Users of NVivo and other QDA software might find the NVivo Blog useful for learning more about qualitative methodology and for finding detailed NVivo video tutorials.
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