What is Database Consultation?
Database consultation involves using our experience working with data and our knowledge of your program/agency, policies, and systems to provide recommendations about the best information to collect in order to measure your agency’s processes and outcomes. NPC staff have a wide variety of experience to aid you or your database developer to create the best possible data collection platforms.
Alternatively, NPC staff can develop databases to be housed by your program/agency that suit your individual needs. As part of database development, NPC provides a data platform, user manuals, trainings and ongoing technical assistance. In addition to housing your program’s records/data, the database can be designed to include a variety of reports for monitoring and tracking your information.
NPC’s Approach to Database Consultation:
NPC uses its expertise in program evaluation data collection and data analysis to advise clients on the most appropriate information to collect in order to measure the outcomes of interest. Our staff will work closely with you to understand your needs and then assist you by either providing an individualized database or helping your agency create your own by working with your database developer to review your database design and provide suggestions for enhancements to better meet your needs. This ensures the best possible data are collected in the best possible format to best meet your reporting and analysis needs. Our aim is to make sure that your agency’s hard work collecting data will pay off. Our experience from initial data collection procedures to database implementation can help you avoid common pitfalls that at best create difficulties and at worst render data unreliable or unusable—a costly error. The areas in which our expertise can assist you include (but are not limited to):
- Helping you define minimum information needed for successful reporting of your processes and outcomes
- Providing suggestions on the most appropriate format for the data collected (text fields, numeric fields, date fields, etc.) and ways to minimize data cleaning from data entry errors
- Creating user manuals with easy to understand instructions for the novice database user
- Training staff to be familiar with the database capabilities from entering data to running reports
- Helping you implement enhancements to improve your existing database
- Creating databases to be housed by your program/agency that suit your individual needs
- Working with your database developer to assure that data collected from different sources can be easily joined for analyses
- Providing your database developer with the understanding needed for staff to create meaningful reports from the database
For more information regarding NPC’s services related to Database Consulting and Development, contact Charley Jaspera at (503) 243-2436 x 113, or Jaspera@npcresearch.com.