6. Collecting Useful Information /

6.4 Collecting data routinely

STANDARD:

We collect information regularly and consistently.

To meet the standard in full, you collect information regularly (before and after your organisation makes a difference), at agreed times, and from the right sources. Collecting information is part of the day-to-day work of your organization. The people who are responsible for collecting information have the tools they need to collect it consistently and accurately.

Done well, data collection will ideally become a routine part of the work of your organization. You can do some things to ensure this is the case.

Before you introduce any new approach to data collection, try to win the support of your team for it. Discuss your planned approach, why measurement is important, and what it will mean for them. Take time to discuss your ideas and build consensus.

Make data collection as easy as possible for staff. Its best to build it into existing responsibilities if you can. You may be able to find ways to encourage or incentivise staff to collect data consistently and well.

Think about ways that you can give staff the information, training or support they will need to become familiar with data collection methods and make the most of them.

As far as possible, also collect data as you go along. Ideally, staff will collect data before, during, and after an intervention to be able to demonstrate the change that has occurred. This might mean collecting some information every day, or every week, while some may be collected just once a year.

Don’t worry if everything doesn’t go as well as planned at first. Take opportunities for staff to discuss their practices, challenges, and possible improvements.