Guide to types of data

Each type of data has characteristics that help identify how it was gathered and what can be interpreted from it.


Uses narrative or descriptive data rather than numbers. For example, a description of the views and attitudes of those receiving/providing a service.


Gives numerical results. For example, the percentage of participants completing a programme.


This is data for the period before the service change, to compare with the period after implementation of the change.


This is performance data on your service that can be compared with similar data collected on other services locally and nationally.


This is additional new data.


This is existing data and will include information you or others already collect. For example, monitoring data, local and national audits, census data.


The Evaluation and Evidence toolkits go hand in hand. Using and generating evidence to inform decision making is vital to improving services and people’s lives.

About the toolkits