Easy and Effective Data Collection for Coalitions
As part of our NJHI grant, we’ve worked on creating a data collection system that is an easy and effective way for Shaping Elizabeth partners to share their work with each other in real time. It needed to be simple enough for 17 community-based organizations of different sizes and operating styles to input and find information. Yet, it also needed to be detailed enough to help organizations that may not have worked together before, to connect with each other.
While we had many options available, we ultimately chose Google Sheets for this purpose because it is a free resource, easy to use, can be updated in real time, and it has features that further support our collaborative —making it the most accessible and sustainable way to track our coalition members’ collective efforts during the pandemic and beyond.
We finalized the tool and are proud to say it is a one-stop resource directory/data collection system for our coalition! The document is organized by categories that allow us to see all of our coalition members and the different types of projects they are developing around food insecurity, housing, mental health, transportation and other areas. Within each category we can see basic program information that indicates who is doing the work, details the work that is being done, a timeline for the work, and how many people are reached through each particular effort.
Most importantly, we’re also tracking program contact and organization contact information in this document. This ensures that members of our Shaping Elizabeth coalition who would like to learn more and collaborate on programs can get in touch with each other, even if there is a change in personnel. The collaborative possibilities this directory/data collecting system will provide us going forward are endless and we can’t wait to see what we learn about our collective impact on the community!