HOW TO: Four steps to building a weekly data collection process

For the past year, a research team from Carleton University has been gathering real-time data on the state of the charitable sector in Canada through weekly surveys. This data is critical information, given that the last national survey of the country’s non-profit and voluntary sector was 20 years ago.

Why It Matters

While a weekly data collection process is a time-intensive commitment, it can provide a real-time view of priorities, challenges and needs among a specific participant group.

When Paloma Raggo, associate professor at the School of Public Policy at Carleton University, proposed a weekly data collection project about the state of the Canadian charitable sector, fellow academics and non-profits were skeptical. They raised an eyebrow at the pace at which a research team would have to work to collect and analyze data every single week.

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