Collect the right data, so you can analyse and apply the findings to improve the impact of your programme or service.

The second step in the cycle is Do. This involves collecting data to help you understand if your programme or service is working and how you can make it better. It’s important to choose data collection methods that will provide the most accurate answers to your evaluation questions.

In this section, we provide advice and practical worksheets to support you to:

Detailed guidance is provided on the following data collection approaches:

  • Surveys – Could surveys help you collect information about a particular group of people?
  • Interviews – Could one-to-one interviews enable you to gather more detailed information?
  • Focus groups – Could facilitated discussions help you explore personal and group feelings in more depth?
  • Case studies – Could individual cases help you gather in-depth information about your impact?
  • Creative methods – Could less formal data collection methods help you capture thoughts and feelings?
  • Observations – Could observation help you understand how users engage with your service by seeing it for yourself?

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This webpage has been adapted from the Inspiring Impact programme, which ran from 2011 until early 2022 and supported voluntary organisations to improve their impact practice. More information about the Inspiring Impact programme.