Primary Data Collection
Our services range from developing short targeted questionnaires and facilitating focus groups to designing and managing community-wide mapping or census projects. Follow the links to see how other clients have used these services to collect the data they need to address their pressing concerns.
Housing Unit Mapping
We help clients accurately identify, map, and classify structures within a specified survey area. Understanding where structures are located, whether they are residential or non-residential, and their occupancy status supports planning efforts, particularly when data are combined with other spatially referenced information in a GIS. The resulting dataset and map can also be used to support emergency management programs and the drawing of a random sample for a household survey.
Housing Unit Condition Assessment
Working with local housing practitioners, we help clients document and assess specific exterior and/or interior features (e.g., roof, siding, foundation) of housing units within a specified survey area. The information collected can be used to determine the condition of existing housing stock and address issues before they become more severe, hazardous, and expensive. One of the outputs of the unit condition assessment is a complete photo inventory of the assessed structures and components, which can help first responders, planners, and service providers do their jobs more effectively.
We work with clients to design and implement methodologically rigorous surveys that help them better understand the demographics, needs, and perceptions of the population within a specified survey area. Statistically representative data collected at the individual and/or household level can be used to identify gaps and opportunities, guide program development and planning, and provide evidence to strengthen need-based grant applications. Data can be collected using in person, mail out and/or online survey contact methods.
We help clients design and implement surveys at specific events or locations (including online) to capture data that, while not statistically representative of a specific population, provides illustrative information concerning the circumstances, needs, interests and desires of the target population. Clients may choose this option if the total population is unknown, when statistically representative sampling may not be practical, or if they want to collect data to connect data with specific people.
A targeted sample enables clients to collect data about specific subpopulations, taking into account the unique characteristics of the population of interest and specific issues the survey sponsor seeks to identify and potentially address (e.g., a youth survey seeking to give youth in the community an opportunity to voice their concerns and describe their aspirations or need for support).
We facilitate a discussion of select topics with a small group of people who may be either randomly or specifically selected in order to explore issues in greater depth or discover new ones. Focus groups can be used to define the content for a survey or clarify and contextualize survey results.
Key Informant Interviews
One-on-one discussions with knowledgeable experts (e.g., program staff or leadership) or others directly involved in a relevant process (e.g., prospective homeowners or users of a specific service or facility) can also be used to explore specific topics in greater detail.