Collating and analysing data for Healthy Living Centre Dartford

Healthy Living Centre Dartford runs a number of different courses around healthy living for both mind and body and has been capturing personal and contact details of participants in an ad hoc database.
The request

Work had begun on a CRM database of all clients and the centre wanted to ensure they were capturing systematic and complementary data across courses and that they weren’t asking people for the same information multiple times. They also wanted to add to this personal data, information on courses attended and participation rates, and views on whether the courses had been beneficial. 
Three key stages to the support:
  1. Use the data provided to provide summary statistics on the activities carried out in 2019 as an example (for example number of people attending, and attendance rate)
  2. Suggest what personal data to capture from all attendees to populate a database and give some examples of what for each activity to be collected.
  3. Draw up a short survey that could be administered pre and post one or two activities to show how outcomes could be measured.
The approach

An Excel database of 2019 courses was provided and that was used as a template to decide the type of data to suggest collating in the CRM. Data was suggested that would allow contact and follow up with participants but that could also be used for simple quantitative measures to be calculated that showed participation by a range of demographic indicators; therefore, showing diversity of attendance and reach of the courses. 
To give more depth to the quantitative steps short pre and post course surveys were designed to allow participants to feedback on their expectations and outcomes of the course.  Again, this was primarily a quantitative exercise, but open response questions were included to allow free text that could then be used as quotes in any future bid or evidence requests. 
The result

A list of variables was passed over the database designer to include and feedback suggests they have all been included (unfortunately in the time frame a copy of the database hadn’t been seen by the statistician).
Also, the two surveys; pre and post course, were delivered to the centre manager for use in the future.  Ideally these will be electronic and filled in online but as yet the database isn’t at that stage of development. Until it is hard copy forms are to be used.
Impact and benefits

Sharon Phillips, manager at Healthy Living Centre said:
The support of Statisticians for Society has enabled Healthy Living Centre Dartford to focus on the collection and collation of meaningful data in a user-friendly way, which will enable us to evidence impacts of our programmes to existing, and potential funders.  This in turn will support our strategies for development and sustainability.