4. Measure: Collect Performance Data

This step involves the actual collection of data. This step can be time consuming but is essential to a well-performing performance management system.

You might already be doing this, or you might need to develop a new process for data collection.

You can collect primary data yourself or use existing secondary data sources. Primary data can be expensive to collect, but you can get what your agency needs. Secondary data can be inexpensive or free, but you will have less control over data collection. Sometimes secondary data may not be available at a low enough level of analysis (e.g., available only at the state or county level, but not at the city or census tract level).

Primary data sources your agency may use include:

  • Surveys (e.g., customer satisfaction)
  • Observation
  • Organization records (e.g., Electronic Health Records)
  • Other direct measurement methods (like program records or focus groups)

Secondary data (i.e., data collected by other sources) can include:

  • Government data banks (e.g., Ohio Department of Health, Centers for Disease Control & Prevention, National Highway Traffic Safety Administration)
  • Other organizations (e.g., local hospital, KIDS COUNT by Annie E. Casey Foundation)
  • Researchers (e.g., university partners, County Health Rankings by University of Wisconsin Population Health Institute)


Next: Step 5 – Analyze Performance Data