SocialCops’ Ultimate Guide To Effective Data Collection

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The development and policy spaces have seen the use of data to drive decision making and increase impact. Non-profit and government organisations are using data to inform decisions, such as how much money to invest in a particular project or how to improve impact per dollar spent. With the growing importance placed on data, surveys have become an indispensable tool for every organization, from billion-dollar tech companies to rural nonprofits.
Creating a survey seems simple – just ask a few simple questions, and you’ll get back data to solve your every problem. However, designing a survey correctly takes time and knowledge. A poorly designed survey will lead to useless data, wasting your time and money. As computer scientists say, “Garbage in, garbage out.”
Designing a survey involves several considerations:

  • What is the purpose of your survey? What data are you looking to collect?
  • How can you best collect that data?
  • What sort of survey and research methodology should you use?
  • How should you write the questions in your survey?
  • Who should you survey?

The mission of SocialCops is to drive the world’s most important decisions using data and in the last two years, we’ve helped over 150 partners – UNICEF, Oxfam India, Ministry of Rural Development (India) – collect over 20 million data points using our platform. In the process, we’ve learned a lot about what it takes to collect high quality data to drive decision-making.
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We’ve just launched an ebook to share our experiences and the lessons we have learned around how to effectively collect data: The Ultimate Guide To Effective Data Collection.
This 30-page guide contains everything you need to know to improve the way you collect data, including the basic building blocks of effective data collection.

  • Frame your research question, outcomes and indicators
  • Choose between 4 types of data collection methods
  • Use (and even mix) qualitative and quantitative research
  • Write purposeful questions to improve data quality
  • Sample your population, with a simple sample size formula

We hope that The Ultimate Guide To Effective Data Collection will be a useful resource for you. The ebook is designed to take you through these questions and help you design a survey that will give you high-quality data.

  • Chapter 1 will help you think through the purpose, outcomes and indicators of your survey.
  • Chapters 2 and 3 will help you determine what data collection method you should use, as well as whether you need a qualitative or quantitative survey.
  • Chapters 4-8 address writing the questions in your survey — what you want to ask and best practices around how to ask it.
  • Chapter 9 covers all aspects of sampling your population — sampling methods, best practices, and a quick sample size formula.

Please download it now!