Data Collection Planner


Provides a checklist to use when collecting data for a project.

Answers the questions:
  • Can you trust the data you are collecting?
  • Is the process of measuring, recording, filtering, preparing, and storing data well defined?
  • Is the process of measuring, recording, filtering, preparing, and storing data repeatable?
  • Are you confident you can use the data to make decisions?
When to Use Purpose
Pre-project The decision to select a project should be based on data. For example, a preliminary estimate of the defect rate requires data, not guesswork. A preliminary estimate of savings should be based on data. An analysis of VOC requirements should be based on data.
Throughout the project The main purpose of a Six Sigma project is to make decisions based on data. What is the baseline level of process performance? Which inputs exert critical influence on the output? What are the best settings of these key inputs? What is the process performance after improvements have been made? All these decisions require collecting and analyzing data.
Post-project All Six Sigma projects require control mechanisms to ensure that improvements are sustained. These control mechanisms often utilize on-going data collection and analysis.


No data requirements exist because you only use this tool to collect data.


Although you might not need to cover all of the items in the checklist, you should try to cover the basics.

  1. Why are you collecting data?
  2. Where are the data coming from?
  3. Do you trust the data source?
  4. Are the data representative enough to use for making decisions?
  5. Do you know how much data need to be collected?
  6. Do you know how to measure the data?
  7. Do you know how to transform the measurements into the final form required?


This tool is not intended to serve as an exhaustive list of all possible circumstances for collecting data. The possibilities for collecting data are as unlimited as the end uses for the data. Therefore, you should add and modify data collection planning elements on the form based on your specific needs.

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