Data Collection Strategies
For detailed information on quantitative and qualitative data collection strategies, see Collect and Analyze Quantitative and
Qualitative Data in the Rural Community Health Toolkit.
Prior to identifying data collection strategies, it is important to develop the specific questions that the
evaluation will address. Evaluation questions should be reasonable, answerable, and appropriate given the
program’s process and outcomes. Well-defined evaluation questions consider the purpose of the evaluation,
intended use of the results, the needs of stakeholders, and the real world circumstances that influence program
success. Important contextual information for rural areas includes local beliefs and behaviors, system
capabilities, and limitations regarding capacity, technology, and needed resources.
Both quantitative and qualitative
data should be collected to answer the research questions. Types of quantitative and qualitative data
collection methods include surveys and
questionnaires, focus groups,
interviews, and observations and progress
Resources to Learn More
Collection across the Health Care System
Identifies steps toward improving data collection, and provides information on understanding opportunities and
challenges within the context of current practice.
Organization(s): Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality
Practice & Policy Online Resource Training Center: Measurement Tools
Includes various evidence-based practice and policy indicators for a variety of health promotion and
disease prevention initiatives. Also provides links to assessment tools and screenings.
Organization(s): Columbia University School of Social Work