Barbara Goldberg & Associates: Data Collection Tools and Strategies

Barbara Goldberg & Associates knows that data collection is the backbone of any program evaluation. We work to develop and implement robust data collection strategies that will yield the depth and quality of information needed to answer evaluation questions and meet evaluation goals.

Prior to study implementation we develop strategies, in collaboration with program leadership and staff, to collect both quantitative and qualitative information in a variety of ways and from a number of sources including focus groups, research interviews, surveys we design and administer, and existing sound data sources.

We work with each program to assure that:

  • data collection methods that protects both the integrity of the information and client confientiality;
  • data is collected according to IRB and other regulatory protocols; and
  • data is stored and managed so that it is secure yet accessible to evaluators and, as needed, program staff.

We closely tie the evaluation to program goals so the link and necessity for excellent records is clear to everyone, including front line staff.  We present the evaluation to staff and train them in documentation so everyone is on board and knows their role in data collection and management prior to implementation.

"Barbara has the unique ability to paint a picture with data in a way that convinces her audiences that something either needs to be done or has already happened. The combination of these analytic and communication skills is what make her such a wonderful evaluator."
Mary Jo Baisch, Associate Professor, School, of Nursing, University of Wisconsin - Milwaukee

Challenges to Data Collection

When evaluating human service programs, it is often challenging to develop effective data collection strategies. Evaluating primary prevention, advocacy efforts and other community-wide services may require less conventional data in order to assess impact.

In response, leaders in the field of program evaluation have been developing new, innovative data collection strategies.

Two useful resources are:

Centers for Disease Control and Preven-tion - Program Evaluation Resources

Innovation Network - Unique Data Collection Methods