Data collection and analysis

Modes of data collection

In-person (face-to-face interviews, intercept surveys, etc.)

  • Data collection techniques that take place in person. This can take the form of one-on-one interviews.

  • Past clients

    • University of Michigan School of Public Health

    • Urban Institute

    • Michigan Department of Education

    • National Institute of Health

    • Center for Disease Control

In-person  focus groups

  • Data collection that takes place in person with a group of 8-12 participants.

  • Past clients

    • City of Detroit Planning Commission

    • Michigan Department of Education

    • Legal Aid and Defender Association

Telephone surveys

  • Data collection that occurs over the phone.

  • Past clients

    • City of Detroit Planning Commission

    • U.S. Department of Education

    • Michigan Department of Education

    • United Way Community Services

    • City of Detroit Senior Services Department

Mail back surveys

  • Surveys that are sent in the mail to respondents, and then entered into a database upon return.

  • Past clients

    • Wayne State University Department of Economics

    • Michigan Department of Education

    • City of Detroit Planning Commission

Web-based surveys

  • Surveys that are implemented via the internet with the results downloaded to a database.

  • Past clients

    • City of Detroit Planning Commission

Computer assisted interviewing

CATI (computer assisted telephone interviewing)

  • Data collection that occurs with an interviewer and respondent over the phone, and uses special software that allows staff to program survey questions into a computer so that responses can be immediately entered into a database.

  • Past clients

    • National Institute of Justice

    • W.E. Upjohn Institute

    • United Way

CAPI (computer assisted personal interviewing)

  • Data collection that occurs in person, and involves the interviewer entering all responses directly into a computer.

  • Past client

    • Urban Institute

CASI (computer assisted self-administered interviewing)

  • A data collection procedure where a survey is set up on a laptop computer, and the respondents enter their responses directly into the computer.

  • Past client

    • Wayne State University Department of Community Medicine

Sample design

Random Digit Dialing (RDD)

Sampling participants based on the generation of a random dialing of telephone numbers.

List based

Sampling participants based on a list.

Case-control sampling

Recruiting participants based on certain demographic characteristics.

Stratified and clustered

Sampling participants from mutually exclusive subgroups or clusters.

Respondent recruitment

Recruiting participants from the general population or from a specific group.


Questionnaire development

Focus groups

Staff have experience convening focus groups to help develop questions for use on questionnaires, and to explore, in depth, issues in a qualitative format.

Working with stakeholders to develop questions, question wording / order and design and format

Staff routinely work with stakeholders to develop appropriate questions for use on surveys. Staff also work to ensure that questions are worded correctly, are in the appropriate order on the questionnaire, and are formatted in a user friendly fashion.

Pilot studies / pre-testing

After helping a stakeholder to develop a questionnaire, staff can conduct a pilot test of the instrument with a small sample of respondents.


Data analysis and reporting


Analysis of both primary and secondary data. This could include analyzing the data that we collect or existing data (i.e. Census data). Outputs could range from simple descriptive statistics to more sophisticated multi-variate analyses and modeling.


Analysis of both primary and secondary data. This could include analyzing data from focus groups, in-person interviews, observations, document analysis, record reviews, etc.