Decide How to Collect & Store Your Data

Know Features of the Data Collection Tool

When choosing a data collection method for your registry, consider the following factors: 

  • Cost
    • Is cost a factor for you?
    • Does the data collection method require a fee? Is it a one-time fee, or is it ongoing (e.g., monthly, yearly)?
    • If there is a fee, what does the fee cover?
  • Information technology (IT) knowledge
    • What level of IT knowledge is required to create, edit, maintain, and review the form?
  • Form building
    • Is there a limit on the number of questions?
    • Does it offer different question types (e.g., multiple choice, checkbox, dropdown, file upload)?
    • Are you able to select questions from a library of questions?
    • Can questions be customized?
    • Can you create conditional questions that use answers provided to relevant previous questions?
    • Can some fields be required?
    • Does the service provide a validation function (e.g., an error message displays when an e-mail address does not use  standard format,or a telephone number is missing a digit)?
    • Is there a limit to the number of responses per form?
  • Accessibility/Participant Experience
    • Is it mobile-friendly?
    • Does it provide help to participants?
      • To help explain how to complete the form.
      • To help understand the question.
      • To let participants know if they have not completed a required field.
    • Can you share it using a link? (through social media, email, or from a website)
    • Are different languages available?
    • Is the form easy to read and easy to complete?
    • Can participants save their progress and complete the form later?
    • Can participants update their own information once the form has been filled out and submitted?
  • Data usability
    • Is the data accessible, usable, and manageable?
    • Does it provide/create charts/graphs depicting all collected data?
    • Can data be collected and organized in real time? (e.g., via a dashboard, into a spreadsheet or other document)
    • Can you set up notifications to let you know when a form is completed?
    • Can data be exported into forms, sheets, or other programs/applications for sharing?
  • Sustainability
    • How stable is the tool/service? (for example, how long has the service been in existence or does the service have a long-term plan)
    • Who owns the data?

Use the RaDaR Tool: Compare Features of Data Collection Methods to compare the various data collection options to find the one that best meets your registry’s goals.