Data Quality

Outline India ensures data quality at each step of the research cycle

  • Enumerator training including classroom training and field practice
  • Spot checks or unannounced visits by senior field staff, including researchers
  • Back checks or short audits of respondents who have already been surveyed
  • High frequency checks on daily basis by researchers to identify inconsistencies
  • Training

    The training sessions for the field team are planned in consultation with the client to provide an overview of the project and its objectives, the upcoming data collection phase, team structure & reporting lines, and code of conduct. Enumerators are provided with detailed information on each section/module of the instrument that explains the questions, answer choices, skip logics, definitions of terms, allowable ways of asking certain question types (e.g., Likert scales), and special instructions for questions, if any.

  • Ethical Research and Privacy policy

    We have extensive policies in place to protect the data collected and the respondents' privacy.

    Contacts are put in place with all field staff  that highlight the importance of data confidentiality and privacy. We make sure to regularly obtain ethical approvals for our projects. We ensure the privacy of our respondents, and thereby take all the necessary precautions to keep their responses confidential. 

    To ensure ethical conduct and data quality, our researchers provide intense training to acquaint the field staff with the survey questions, survey protocols, as well as the survey instrument and related technology.   

    We do our utmost to ensure that there is no no spillage or misuse of data.

  • Digital Data Collection

    We use digital data collection devices like Computer-Assisted Personal Interviewing (CAPI) platforms to conduct face-to-face interviews. There are structured systems in place to manage the data collection. Through the CAPI software hints are given to the field workers along with proper explanation of tricky questions and sections. This platform helps in monitoring and overseeing the data real time.

  • Screening and Recruitment

    After the training, we conduct field mocks to test enumerators’ adherence to field protocols, their ability to administer the survey correctly, and provide feedback on their performance. The mock sessions entail all the activities included in the main data collection exercise, such as identifying respondents, administering the survey, filling out tracking sheets, etc. to identify and address any problems or challenges faced.  

    Performance of each surveyor is thoroughly evaluated on predefined project-specific quality metrics throughout the training. 

    Before deciding on the final staffing and composition of field teams, we also assess the enumerators on characteristics such as punctuality, attention to detail, ability to learn quickly, cultural sensitivity, and communication skills.

  • Interview Limit

    There is a ceiling limit to the number of interviews that a surveyor can conduct in a day, to ensure quality. The duration of each interview is recorded and included in the final data set.

  • Data Monitoring and Back-checks

    Each survey form and data point goes through tow levels of approvals and quality checks at the supervisor level and researcher level.  This helps us in monitoring data in the real-time and isolating and resolving question-specific as well as enumerator-specific doubts. The entire backcheck process is kept separate from the main data collection exercise to ensure that no inconsistencies and bias occur. Based on this feedback if needed is given to the field team.

  • Piloting/ Pretesting

    We undertake a pilot exercise to practice implementing the survey, which includes training the enumerators, testing how long the whole survey process takes, and monitoring adherence to field protocols.   

    The insights from the pilot study enable us to review and improve survey efficiency, instrument design, translations, as well as survey protocols related to interview scheduling, sampling, and geo data. It also provides us with important feedback to enhance coordination between field staff and improve overall implementation before the main data collection exercise.


The OI Promise:Collecting reliable, robust, representative data ethically

Respecting privacy at the grassroots level. Consent is at OI’s core and we always seek permission before audio/video recording of the respondent.

Appointment seeking from authorities to ensure respondent ease and ethical relevance.

Respondent training concerning studies with children about language, tone, physical touch and choice of words. OI makes sure to follow compliance and does not share photos of minors.

Respondent background check for sensitive studies on misinformation, reproductive health among others to ensure legitimate hiring