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Using data is essential to all stages of delivering programs, from conducting needs assessments to evaluating and communicating outcomes. However, data can rarely be used exactly as collected. Instead, it must be analyzed.

Qualitative Data

Qualitative data goes beyond crunching and reporting numbers; it includes interpreting words and stories to learn more about our impact on the community. Qualitative data collection includes focus groups, interviews, open-ended survey answers, and comments.

For more information on qualitative data and analysis, visit the section on Qualitative Data Basics.

Quantitative Data

Quantitative data is often described as numeric data. It can be made up of words, pictures, or observation notes. A quantitative approach is generally used when researchers want to study a topic or phenomenon to generalize across a population. Often, the number of units studied is large enough to use statistical analysis techniques. However, as with qualitative methods, data collection and analysis can be time-consuming.

Typically, in extension, quantitative data is obtained through surveys. Generally used are:

  • End-of-workshop surveys
  • Pre-post workshop or program surveys
  • Retrospective post-then-pre surveys
  • Follow-up surveys

For more information on quantitative data and analysis, visit the section on Quantitative Data Basics.

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