Modified on: Thu, 7 Nov, 2019 at 8:08 AM
STEP 1: Prepare
Search for Tools
You can browse tools from the Data Collection Tools tab.
- Place your cursor over the Data Collection Tools tab and click Manage Tools.
- Search for a tool by name by using the filter box.
- Click Word or Preview at the bottom of the screen to view a tool. Click on the tool name to display the questions in the tool. Click a question to see the answer choices.
Review the tools
Once you find your tool(s) you have two options:
- Use your tool as-is (continue on to Step 2, Set Up an Evaluation).
- Customize your tool by making additions or changes.
Create custom tools
Customizing a tool is done by cloning, or making a copy, of the Success Measures tool. By making a copy, the Success Measures tool will always be in your tool set. Your cloned tool can now be customized to fit your needs.
- Clone your tool
- Place your cursor over the Data Collection Tools and click the Manage Tools link to go to your tool set.
- Find the tool you’d like to clone by scrolling through the list, or typing the name into the search box.
- Once you have found the tool, click the checkbox to the left of the tool you want to clone.
- Click the blue Clone button on the bottom left of the screen.
- Enter the name of your new tool, and click the Submit button.
- Customize your tool
- Your new tool will be created in draft mode. Here, you can customize your tool.
- There are two main ways to customize a tool:
- Adding something new, like a question you create or a question from a different tool, or
- Making changes to existing questions (changing the word “community” to “Walker Neighborhood), deleting questions, or rearranging questions.
- When you’ve finished making changes to your tool, click the green Publish button at the bottom of the screen.
After you have customized your tools, you are ready for STEP 2: Set Up a New Evaluation.
STEP 2: Set Up
After you have your tool the way you want it, in order to enter data into SMDS, the tool must be in an active evaluation. Let’s look at creating an evaluation.
Create a new evaluation
- Place your cursor over the Evaluation tab and click the New Evaluation link.
- Enter a name and start date and click the blue Save button at the bottom of the screen.
Add tools to your evaluation
- To insert a tool, click the blue Insert Data Collection Tool button.
- Search or filter for the tool you’d like to add.
- Click the check box next to the tool or tools you would like to insert, then click insert. Remember, you can add multiple tools to an evaluation.
- Next, select the source of information for each tool inserted in the evaluation. Select location if your information is from or about a physical place, individual if your information is from a person, group if your information is from a focus group, or record if your information is from either administrative or public records.
Activate your evaluation
- Click the Activate button at the bottom of the screen. From this screen, you can preview a tool, download the Word version of a tool, or download an Excel spreadsheet of the tool.
In the Help Desk, you can find a more detailed tutorial on Creating an Evaluation.
After you have created an evaluation, you are ready for STEP 3: Collect Data.
STEP 3: Collect
There are also different ways to enter data. You can:
- Enter data directly into SMDS, one survey or observation at a time.
- Enter data into a system-generated Excel spreadsheet and upload into SMDS.
- Set up an email distribution for your clients or customers to fill out a survey on their own.
There are also different information sources (individual, location) to use for data entry. What you use depends on the data you are collecting. You might be collecting property observations, in which case you would be entering location data. You might be collecting survey responses, in which case you would be entering data from individuals.
If you are collecting multiple rounds of data and entering data directly into the system, you will enter data for either a person or location. We have guides for both options.
We encourage you to use the user guide or tutorial that matches your response type and data entry type when you’re ready to enter data.
After you have collected your data and entered it into SMDS, you are ready for STEP 4: Analyze Your Data.
STEP 4: Analyze
After you have collected your data and entered it into SMDS, you are ready to analyze your data.
- Run basic reports to show all of your data by response, or frequencies and percentages.
- More advanced reports to show changes over time for multiple rounds of data, or data from different evaluations.
In the Help Desk, you can find more detailed user guides for generating basic reports as well as generating reports to show changes over time.
Export data to Excel
SMDS allows for some analysis, but you also might want to export to Excel or other programs for further analysis. To get to the reporting feature, place your cursor over the Evaluation tab, then Reporting, and finally click New Report.
From the reports page, you can generate basic reports, or check the box for More Reporting Options to look at data over time.
After you have generated your report using the user guides in the Help Desk, click either the blue Export button or the floppy disk icon to export your data to Excel, Word, or as PDF.
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