Collecting Data

The questions a group wants to answer—for descriptive, monitoring, or evaluation purposes—will determine what information should be collected. It is often helpful to develop a table with the information needed to answer each question. This helps ensure that there is a specific plan to collect each piece of data, and that data is not being collected unless it is needed. The Tipsheet “How Will We Know What Information We Should Collect?” includes two examples of such a table. Groups may want to add extra columns for other important information about data, such as where that information can be obtained (its source), when it should be collected (timing), and how it will be collected (method).



“Martin Luther King Jr. called for us to be lovestruck with each other, not colorblind toward each other. To be lovestruck is to care, to have deep compassion, and to be concerned for each and every individual, including the poor and vulnerable.”

~ Michelle Alexander, The New Jim Crow


Centering Racial Equity in Data Use – Urban Institute

Also in this section:
  • Information Sources

  • Data Collection Methods


Cultural Appropriation

Cultural Racism



People of Color

Racial and Ethnic Identity

Structural Racialization


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