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Step 1: Define Your Needs

This section will walk you through all the steps of starting a new data collection project. It doesn't matter what the project is; these steps should universally apply. If you have questions about any of these steps, be sure to contact the NEDARC staff at (801) 585-9158.

Assess Your Needs

Where do you even begin! Starting any new data collection project can make even the most experienced person's head swim with possibilities. But it doesn't have to be hard. The first step in any data collection project is simply to assess your needs:

  • Why do you want to collect data?
  • Is it part of a grant obligation?
  • Are you trying to learn more about your audience and their needs?

Try writing down your overall goal and objectives for collecting data as succinctly as possible. Just this process of putting the words on paper will force you to think critically about your needs and help you refine what you are trying to do.

Warning BlockadeWARNING: Do not skip this step! The reason some data collection projects fail can usually be traced back to ill-defined goals from the beginning of the project.


We are going to discuss the following areas for this step:


Next StepAssess What You Have to Do >>




rev. 04-Aug-2022




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This website is supported by the Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA) of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) as part of the Emergency Medical Services for Children Data Center award totaling $3,200,000 with 0% financed with non-governmental sources. The contents are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily represent the official views of, nor an endorsement, by HRSA, HHS, or the U.S. Government. For more information, please visit HRSA.gov.

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