Once you have made a list of the information you might collect, you need to decide on the actual information you need. Information collection takes time, and it cost money. In many cases, you can’t collect all of the information you might want.
When you decide on your information needs, think about these questions:
- How much effort will it take to collect the information?
- How likely is the information to be a significant factor in the analysis?
- Is the information likely to present insights that other information does not?
Let’s look at the information we might collect for student performance.
|Information||Collection Effort||Significance||Unique Insights|
|1. ACT/SAT scores||Hard||High||Yes|
|2. High school grades in Math & Science||Hard||Moderate||No – also included in HS GPA|
|3. High school rankings||Easy||Mod-Low||Yes|
|4. Math/Chem grades||Easy||Moderate||Yes|
|5. Placement Scores||Easy||High||No – Also reflected in ACT/SAT scores|
|6. High school GPA||Easy||High||No – Could link to grades in HS Math/Science|
Here is the reasoning for the information possibilities.
|1. ACT/SAT scores||· These are on the electronic application· They are likely to be significant because of past trends
· They give a unique insight
|2. High school grades in Math/Science||· This will require an analysis of each transcript· This may not be that significant because of grade inflation
· This information is also in the overall GPA
|3. High school Ranking||· This is available on the Education Department website· This may not be significant since students coming from the same high school have vastly different GPAs
· The insight is unique
|4. Math/Chem grades||· This information is available electronically· The information may be significant in identifying bad instruction
· The information does give unique insights
|5. Placement scores||· The information is easy to collect· The information is significant based upon past experience
· The information duplicates ACT/SAT scores
|6. High school GPA||· The information is available electronically· The information is significant based upon past trends
· The same insight would also be available in specific math/science scores
Based upon this analysis, the information to be collected would be:
- ACT/SAT scores
- Math/Science grades in college
- High school GPA