Planning for Data Collection

Learn about different concepts, tools and tips to consider while collecting data in the field! – Free Course

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What you’ll learn

  • Build a robust data collection plan that accounts for budgetary, technology and logistical factors
  • Distinguish between different types of data needed to achieve their goals
  • Evaluate and choose between different mobile-based data collection technologies
  • Learn about important factors to keep in mind while collecting data


  • There are no prerequisites for this course. You should be able to use a computer at a beginner level to undertake this course.


Masterthe basic concepts, tools and tips youneed to create a stellar data collection plan for your organization in this course.Learnhow mobile-based data collection canhelp you save time, reduce costs and optimizeresources in your next data collection exercise.

Reviews by professionals who collect data regularly:

  • This courseprovides great informationon preparing for field data collection. I wouldstrongly recommendit to anyone who collect data or is involved in planning for data collection.-Wahdat Adil, Monitoring and Evaluation Officer at ChildFund International
  • “Clear, direct and easy to understand -this course is excellent!The use of real-life examples, case studies and video recaps madelearning a breeze.”- Ronald Wanyama, Livelihood Coordinator at The Lutheran World Federation
  • “This course is really useful! It helped merevisit the nuancesof data collection and strengthened my experience on the subject.”- Ashutosh Sundaram, Partner at Augmented Understanding

Build a robust data collection plan to which helps you capture data about your program, monitor its performance andmeasure its impact!

  • Understand what data you need to collect
  • Measure thecost of your data collection exercise
  • Learn about thebenefits of mobile-based data collection
  • Choose between different mobile-based data collection tools
  • Evaluate budgetary, technology and logistical factors for data collection

Learn how mobile-based data collection leads to better, richer and more accurate data!

By understanding the fundamentals of data collection, such as distinguishing between the information which is needed, the information which is available and the information which is useful, you can create an effective strategy to capture the exact data pointyou needfor administering abaseline survey, conducting amarket research study, implementing development initiativesor getting feedback about your services.

With mobile-based data collection, you can capture data in various shapes and formats, such as audio, video, photo, geolocations, etc. Automatic database collation and real-time flagging reduces data entry and data loss errors, while increasing the quality and reliability of your data.

Content and Overview

Suitable for independent researchers, field managers and program officers in nonprofits, philanthropies, governments and business organizations, this onlinecourse with the help of video based lectures, exhaustive reading resources and real-life examples from the field will introduce you to the basics of building a data collection plan by thinking critically about the following:

  • What data and informationshould Icollect?
  • What data collectiontools should Iuse?

These basics will cover the different kind of data points you will need, such as identifiers and subject-related information, followed by an understanding of how easy or difficult it will be to capture certain kinds of data and how to judgethe utility of the information captured.

We will then move on tolearning about the opportunities and benefits offered by mobile-based data collection as compared topaper-based data collection, such as better speed, higher accuracy, lower costs and lesser resources. This will be followed by diving deep into the different mobile-based data collection technologies, such as Interactive Voice Response System (IVRS), SMS or interactive SMS (iSMS)and smartphone based data collection apps, and evaluate the different advantages and disadvantages of each technology.

The last sectionwill talk about the different considerations to keep in mind while collecting data, such as the budgetary costs, technology factors and logistics around data collection. We will also learn about things to keep in mind while choosing a data partner to aid and assist in your data collection efforts.

About SocialCops

SocialCopsis a data intelligence company. Our platform brings the entire decision-making process to one place from collecting primary data, accessing secondary data, and merging internal data to visualizing data via easy-to-use dashboards.Our data intelligence platform has powered thecollection of over 250 million primary data points and aggregated over 600 data sources.

Our platform has been used in various settings. For example,we work with India’s MinistryofPetroleum and Natural Gasto track 50 million beneficiaries andpinpoint the exact locations for1,0000 newLPG centers across India that willmaximize profitability and impact.We also work tooptimizestrategic investments withGates Foundation and Unilever, andhandlereal-time monitoring and tracking by Niti Aayog, BASF, World Bank, and others.

Author(s): SocialCops Academy

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