Explore Your Options
What question do you need to answer most?
Now that you’ve identified your needs, the next step is to explore what you would like to do for your data collection project. What question do you need to answer most? How can you collect the data you need? How should it be done? These are all issues you need to think about and explore so that you can choose the right solution for your state.
Do Your Research and Get Inspired
Great data collection ideas always evolve from the ideas of someone else. Here are some great ways to help you “borrow” the genius of those around you and get inspired for your next data collection project:
- Ask around: Do some research in your community and in other states to find out if others have had similar problems or questions and see what solutions they came up with. Find out what data collection tools they’ve used and if they’d be willing to let you use them as a model for your project.
- Do some Internet research: For finding examples in published research, a great resource we use at NEDARC is PubMed, which you can find at www.pubmed.org. Just type in a subject you’re interested in and you’re sure to find some articles on the subject.
- Utilize the EMSC listserve: For EMSC Managers, the EMSC listserve, run by the EMSC National Resource Center (NRC) is a useful tool for asking other people EMSC-related questions.
- Contact a Resource Center: You can also consult with either, NEDARC or HRSA, to see if they can offer any assistance.
- Brainstorm ideas with your team: You probably work with several people who care about EMSC issues like you do or some who have done successful data collection projects. Try to brainstorm some data collection ideas with them.
- Use existing data for inspiration: Sometimes just taking a good, hard look at your state’s data (what you can find) can help inspire you as to what need you can best fill.
- Assess your professional/personal interests: While it is better to rely on established needs, it is also important to assess your personal desires and interests – this “fire in the belly” will help drive you through the difficult data collection issues that may lie ahead of you.
Step 2: Clearly Define the Project >>