Data collection is itself a process. Collecting data allows you to monitor variation in a process, to see the effects of a process change, and to provide an objective forum for making decisions.
To maintain consistency and reliability of data capture, the team will need to develop a Data Collection Plan.
A good plan will address:
- Purpose (the why) of collecting the data.
- What data will be collected and who will collect it (see Operational Definitions)
- Measurement/selection of indicators.
- Sampling method.
- Design of data capture tools.
- Plan for a pilot test.
- Assigned responsibility.
- Training in data collection.
- Storage, editing of data.
- Planned analysis.