Qualitative Data Collection Tools and Services

You can’t serve your community unless you understand its needs.

Data collection is the easiest way to cut to the core of what your community requires. At ECS, we offer reliable data collection products and services, meant to target your key demographics and extract the information you need to compile. Developing a refined process to collect the right data can be difficult for an organization but with ECS as a partner, you will effectively assess and then better serve your community’s needs with ease.


Student Surveys

Collect data around student perceptions on a multitude of topics with community-focused student surveys. ECS develops student surveys for you to collect accurate information faster.

Student Surveys are a great way to gather information on:

  • Student substance use
  • Perception of harm
  • Perception of peer and parental disapproval
  • Access to alcohol, tobacco, and other drugs

Parent Surveys

Through parent surveys, organizations are able to collect data on parental attitudes and beliefs within the community. Organizations are able to better serve the community by reassessing parental needs and understanding the way that parents are interacting with the organization.

Parent surveys can collect valuable information regarding parents’ perceptions of:

  • The frequency of youth substance use
  • Where youth obtain alcohol
  • How easy it is to access alcohol
  • Their impressions on how youth view alcohol, tobacco, and drug use.

Community Surveys

Community surveys produce comprehensive data regarding your community as a whole, including breakdown by age ranges, genders, and other demographics. Community surveys are a good way to see the whole picture, helping you realize where your efforts may need to be focused. The more information you have regarding your community and its needs, the more effective and targeted your organization can be.

Community surveys are able to gather information on community perceptions of:

  • Challenges within the community
  • Adults participating in risk behaviors within the community
  • Types of risk behaviors individuals are participating in
  • Adults providing alcohol, tobacco, or drugs to youth

Qualitative Data Collection Methods

Focus groups, listening sessions, and youth summits are ways to gather information directly from the community. A qualitative survey is a survey that can collect in-depth information regarding an individual’s thoughts, feelings, and motivations. While it’s more difficult to collect quantitative information this way, it can often yield great insights into the community and the effectiveness of its programs.

Focus Groups

Focus groups are generally concerned on a single topic, involving guided discussion regarding perceptions, attitudes, opinions, and beliefs. A demographically diverse group of people can provide a better consensus on the topic of discussion. Focus groups are excellent for gauging where the community stands on issues and where the focus might need to be further directed.

ECS can help by developing effective sample questions, running focus groups, and providing a report of the findings.

Listening Sessions

Listening sessions provide people the opportunity to express their points of view. They can be used to gauge audience opinions and thoughts on specific topics, questions, and issues in the community. A listening session is larger than a focus group and less directed.

ECS can help mediate listening sessions, which often have a wide cross-section of the community in attendance. Once the listening sessions are completed, ECS can provide a report of the findings.

Youth Summits

Youth summits are a positive youth learning experience, which provides education and skill-building activities for youth, while also engaging them on issues within their community. Through a youth summit, organizations are able to gain additional information regarding student impressions and thoughts.

ECS can help mediate sessions with students, focus them on the issues that are important, and provide tips and skill-building activities.

“Key Informant Interviews”-Key informant interviews are qualitative in-depth interviews with people who know what is going on in the community. The purpose of key informant interviews is to collect information from a wide range of people—including community leaders, professionals, or residents—who have first hand knowledge about the community

Tracking Organizational Work and Activities

Here at ECS, we use REACH Collaboration Software as a tool to help organizations track their outputs and progress toward community-level change. As a partner with Reaching Software, we offer state-of-the-art REACH Collaboration for the tracking of outputs, coalition processes, and programs. This online tool enables coalitions and collaborations to engage in stronger evaluations with minimal paper and staff dedication.

Benefits of REACH:

  • Comprehensive organizational tracking
  • Personalization and customization
  • Accessible, web-based platforms
  • Data warehousing
  • Easy, intuitive reporting
  • Simple data exporting
  • Indicator engine

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