Organize the Data
Start your analysis by organizing the data as follows:
Assign an identification number to each instrument (e.g., survey, interview protocol) and each instrument item for which you have data to be analyzed (e.g., individual checklist items, questionnaire questions, interview questions).
Record data from each instrument into a standard template. This will be explained more in the next section, but you can usually use an Excel spreadsheet or Word table to do basic data analysis. Keep track of any decisions you make about how data are entered and make it is done consistently.
"Clean" your data — review each item and decide if anything is incomplete, undecipherable, or out of line in any way. For example, are there instances in which respondents selected two answers when only one should be selected? Such problematic responses should be deleted from the data set you will analyze.
Keep all original data collection instruments (e.g., checklists, completed questionnaires, interview notes, transcripts) in case you need to refer back to them. Originals — both paper and electronic — should be stored securely, especially if they identify respondents or include any personal or sensitive information.
University of Wisconsin-Extension, Cooperative Extension (2008). Building capacity in evaluating outcomes: A teaching and facilitating resource for community-based programs and organizations. Madison, WI: UW-Extension, Program Development and Evaluation.