What is quality data?

How does True Impact define quality data?

The heart of our report builder is an outcomes focused logic model that enables you to articulate how your program helps participants achieve the program’s mission. However, we don’t want you to short-change your program by ending your logic model at the point that you are tracking indicators. So, through our best available data approach, you can provide estimates or extrapolations for those end outcomes if your program doesn’t have the current data or capacity to measure them.

Data Quality. All data reported through True Impact is classified by quality and backed up by the reporting nonprofit's sources, assumptions, and definitions of success. Top-level categories include:

  • Direct measurement of program results, including testing, monitoring, or reporting by the beneficiaries or program implementers, using subjective or objective evaluation criteria.
  • Estimate based on data from other, similar programs; indirect tracking of outcomes (e.g., government data); or the program's past results.
  • Guess based on experience, anecdotal results, or logical assumptions.

    The first two categories – direct measurement and estimate based on data – are considered high-quality (or evidence-based) data, providing some validation for the reporting organization’s assertions. Guess are considered low-quality data that can be improved in future implementation cycles.

    High-Quality Data Support:

    If direct measurement is not feasible, you can estimate end outcomes by using existing research, past program data, data for similar sorts of programming, or other methods that can help you draw connections between the work being done and the resulting impacts. For resources on existing research, review this comprehensive list put together by True Impact.

    If you are an intermediary organization and you do not directly measure the impacts on the end beneficiaries, it is possible someone does. What we mean by this is whomever you are directly serving (teachers, businesses, nonprofit leaders, etc.) might already be tracking the impacts of those they serve and who you are identifying as the end beneficiary. While this means an additional step in your measurement process, gathering this data will help strengthen your story of impact and make your report even more compelling. Feel free to copy and use this sample outreach tool to gather the data from your own stakeholders to help measure the end outcomes.