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  2. Planning Data Collection

Organizing Programs, Sites and Groups

Learn how to organize your data collection in the Hello Insight platform to best meet your programming and reporting needs.

The way data collection is organized in Hello Insight's platform will determine how you see your data in final reports. So it’s important to spend some time defining your goals, reviewing survey administration guidance, and planning your strategy before you begin set up.


Step 1: Understand Hello Insight’s Three Levels of Data

Data collection and reporting are organized in a hierarchy with three levels, starting with Programs, then Sites, and also Groups.



  • A Program is a set of coordinated activities, services, or resources that are conducted with fidelity and the same level of intensity or dosage across Sites or Groups. No matter who runs the program or where it is offered, you should expect that young people will have comparable experiences and develop similar outcomes.

  • A Program can contain one or more Sites, each with one or more Groups. However, all need to use the same Hello Insight Tool. This will ensure consistency across the Program and allow for comparison across Sites and Groups.

  • When you generate a Program-level report, you will see a roll-up across all Sites and Groups within that Program.


  • A Site typically refers to a location or region where a Program takes place (such as, Center City, East Avenue Elementary School, or Northwest Recreation Center). It can, however, also be the name of a host or staff member.

  • A Site must contain one or more Groups.

  • When you generate a Site-level report, you will see a roll-up across all Groups within that Site.


  • A Group is the smallest set of participants within a Site that experience the same Program at the same time. It is often identified as a classroom name, a sports team, or the name of an instructor.

  • When you generate a Group-level report, you will see only that Group of young people.

Step 2: Design a Data Collection and Reporting Structure

To help you design your data collection and reporting structure, review the key considerations and helpful tips outlined below. You can also use the printable Template for Planning Data Collection and Reporting to experiment with mapping various structures for your Programs, Sites, and Groups.

Things to Consider When Defining Each Level




  • Number of Programs: Determine how many Programs you will evaluate this year. If this is your first year using Hello Insight, start with attainable goals you can build on. For your organization, this could mean beginning with just one or two Programs with the goal of expanding to others later.

  • Ages Served: Each Hello Insight tool has been validated for a specific age range, so it is important to consider the ages of the young people your Program serves.

    • Hello Insight: Career Readiness, College Readiness, Outdoors, Social and Emotional Learning, Sports, and Youth Leadership in Action tools can be used with young people ages 11 to 23.

    • Use Hello Insight: Elementary SEL for children ages 8 to 11 or Hello Insight: Early Elementary SEL for ages 5 to 8. These younger children will have markedly different experiences in your Program based on their ages, and these tools will help you track and document more developmentally-appropriate outcomes for them.

Important Note: Only one Hello Insight Tool can be selected when adding a Program. Therefore, if you serve young people from different age ranges within a Program, you will need to create a unique Program for each distinct age group.

  • Naming Conventions: Include a date range in the names to support year-to-year comparisons (for example, “2021-22 Afterschool Program” or “Summer 2022 Camp”).


  • Number of Sites: Determine how many Sites you will study this year. Remember to make your goals attainable. If this is your first year with Hello Insight, consider working with Sites that you know are operating with fidelity, with outstanding staff, and where you will likely have success. If these staff members like using Hello Insight, they can become champions of the platform for the rest of your staff next year.

  • Naming Conventions: Choose site names that are easily understandable to everyone in your organization. If you are creating multiple Sites, try to make their names consistent. Consider how these names might scale over time. For example, do you want all Sites to be named based on school names, physical locations, or funding sources.


  • Number of Groups: Because each Group receives unique URLs and PDFs, be mindful how many you create and can feasibly administer. Try to balance your need for detailed data with a clear understanding of what it will take to manage survey administration strategies on the ground. When you first start using the platform, consider the old adage that less is more!

  • Naming Conventions: Choose Group names that are easily understandable to everyone in your organization. If you are creating multiple Groups, try to make their names consistent and provide relevant descriptors. For example, “Coding Club Grades 4 to 6”, “Cycling Adventures – Beginner Level” or “Camp Session #1.” Consider how these names might be used over time.

Step 3: Create a Data Collection Plan

Create a data collection plan for each Program, Site and Group that your organization intends to survey.


The Survey Administration Planning Worksheet is a guide to help staff plan your survey administration strategy for individual program Sites.

For each Site, you’ll need to identify the following for individual survey groups:

  • Group Name
  • # of Participants (if not yet finalized, an estimate is sufficient)
  • Pre/Post or Check-in Surveys
  • Target Survey Dates 
  • Online or Paper Surveys


Note:  The worksheet also includes prompts to help you:

  • Decide how and when staff will be prepped for survey administration.
  • Think through the best timing and approach for introducing surveys at each site, including how to resolve potential challenges and who will assist with adding Program information to the Dashboard.