That dreaded data collection…and how Sported’s new template can help!

By Rose Chilton, Research & Analysis Manager

Sported has recently launched a new FREE data collection template to help members better measure and demonstrate their impact.  

 

So if you’re one of those people who finds data collection a chore or struggles to know how to use the information once you’ve collected it, then read on to find out how the Sported Data Collection template could make your life a whole lot easier! 

But first things first why is impact measurement so important? 

Your impact is the difference you make; the long-term effect of your project or organisation’s work.   

 

The way the charity/third sector demonstrates its impact is changing. In the past, a good case study or an inspiring story did the trick (known as qualitative evidence.) However, that case study may not reflect the experience of most participants. Chances are, if the changes you’re working towards are difficult to achieve, not everyone had such a life changing experience 

 

More recently, stakeholders (including funders) want to see the impact as a whole; they want to gain a more holistic understanding of the changes made, and they want you to demonstrate this with hard facts. It’s impractical to collect case studies for all participants, so the most effective way of doing this is to ‘quantify’ the change; and do this for many participants (known as quantitative evidence.) 

 

‘Quantify’ just means to count or put numbers to it – but don’t be tempted to do this! 

 

Your quantitative impact should be built up using your own data. Sported’s Data Collection Template has been designed to help members do this. 

What is Sported’s Data Collection Template? 

A basic template in Excel, that enables groups to track and measure attendance and activities, basic demographics of beneficiaries, and key ‘Sport for Development’ outcomes. The template includes data entry spreadsheets which are specifically formatted to ensure minimal data entry errors. It automatically summarises data into a series of handy tables and charts: 

Demographics  

The template starts with data collection spreadsheets on who your participants are. This might seem like basic data but summarising and presenting it in tables and charts can be very informative.  

It can help you demonstrate your target audience, e.g. the proportion who are of a certain gender, background, religion or from areas of deprivation.  

 

Attendance  

The template has space to track how often participants attend your sessions. Whilst also seemingly basic information, summarising this can demonstrate that have you consistent and regular contact time with your participants. The template takes your data and provides summary sentences, such as “X% of participants attend 60% of our sessions”.  

 

Sport for Development Outcomes 

The template also has sections for 10 key ‘Sport for Development’ outcomes: 

 

 

 

 

 

For each outcome the template will signpost to the recommended survey questions and includes a data entry spreadsheet. The template automatically summarises the data into tables and charts and can help you demonstrate your achievements towards a certain outcome 

 

Utilising the findings 

Once you’ve collected the data and you’ve got your latest results (impact measurement shouldn’t be seen as the end goal in itself, rather embedded in your day-to-day systems and processes!) the next step is making use of the findings 

 

A quantitative picture of your organisation’s impact should be of interest to a wide range of your stakeholders from internal delivery staff/volunteers to external funders and can add value to key external comms documents and in meetings, including (but not limited to)   

• Annual & Impact reports 

• Committee/Trustee meetings 

• Social media content of your impact (e.g. infographics)  

• Funder evaluation reports 

• Funding applications 

 

Data Collection: Top Tips for Sported Members 

• Spend time thinking about what you want to collect 

• Explain why you are collecting this information 

• Ensure your participants are comfortable answering questions 

• Save a backup copies as you go 

• Ensure you are storing your data in line with GDPR policy 

• Use the charts and tables in reports 

• As you are reporting, beware of the group you are collecting information from – is it representative of your group? 

• Don’t exaggerate your impact! 

• Use a combination of qualitative and quantitative evidence – these can really compliment each other  

 

We hope this blog has whetted your appetite to find out more about impact measurement. Members can explore Sported’s Data Collection Template here, and download the User Guide on Your Sported Network.    

 

Sported have a whole host of resources and support to help you develop your Impact Measurement. Visit the ‘Your Impact’ pages on YSN or contact membership@sported.org.uk for more information.