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Data Collection Guide | Dimagi


Data Collection: How to Get Started

Data collection is the process of gathering quantitative and qualitative information on specific variables with the aim of evaluating outcomes or gleaning actionable insights. Good data collection requires a clear process to ensure the data you collect is clean, consistent, and reliable.

Establishing that process, however, can be tricky. It involves taking stock of your objectives, identifying your data requirements, deciding on a method of data collection, and finally organizing a data collection plan that synthesizes the most important aspects of your program.

Download the complete guide to mobile data collection to learn how to build a plan and maximize your impact

Included in our Guide to Data Collection

Project Objectives

In order to define your project objectives, you must start by focusing on the right problem.


Data Requirements

A clear understanding of your data requirements will help focus and identify a method that serves your needs.


The type of data you are looking to collect, as well as characteristics of its source and environment, should all inform method selection.

Organizing Your Plan

There are two primary methods of organizing a data collection plan that are typically used.

See CommCare in Action

Watch as our team takes you through the design of a basic app in CommCare

The Latest on Mobile Data Collection Programs

Updates and advice from our world-class partners and Global Services team

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USAID Cambodia Integrated Early Childhood Development Activity

Supporting vulnerable newborns and young children to reach their developmental potential through nurturing care and intensive interventions during the first 1,000 days.

Enabling Supportive Supervision to Improve Health Outcomes in Malawi

Enabling supervision of health facilities and programs through the digital integrated supportive supervision (ISS) tool developed by Dimagi.

Learn how CommCare helps programs around the world

More than 2000 projects across 80 countries rely on CommCare for their mobile data collection and reporting needs


“We are ready to design applications that are everything from simple and straightforward to those with challenging and unique designs and use cases.”

- Ted Barlow, President

Sehgal Foundation

“CommCare gave us the ability to control the experience of our fieldbased data collectors, which drastically reduced human error.”

- Bhawna Mangla, Senior Research Associate

Let There Be Light International

“Thank you for helping us to gather data, refine programming, and spread the message about our impact in fighting global climate change and extreme poverty.”

- Sarah Baird, Executive Director



Build secure, customizable apps, enabling your frontline teams to collect actionable data and amplify your organization’s impact.

Guides and Toolkits

These interactive and informative tools can support you in implementing digital solutions including launching and improving your programs.

Impact Delivery

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