HCBS Training

Quantitative and Qualitative Evidence

pile of papers with charts and graphs scattered on table
meeting of three people

Evaluation plans can be gathered using Quantitative or Qualitative Data.  Quantitative data uses numbers that are summarized and reported. Teams may organize a visual graph to show staff attrition or retention data to see if patterns have changed over time. For example, incident reports, 911 calls, or injuries can be organized using graphs or spreadsheets. 

Qualitative or descriptive information can include stories that provide a good example of how person-centered practices are used in HCBS. Teams might show changes in policies or procedures. Interviews with people receiving services, family or community members, and staff can share details that are not available in quantitative evaluation. Listening sessions with families and people receiving services can also be used to learn more about improving action planning efforts.

Each team member brings their unique strengths to the evaluation process. Some team members are very good at organizing and summarizing quantitative data. Other people’s strengths are focused on qualitative data. Learn more about your team member's strengths. This will be important later as the team organizes an evaluation plan. Be open and encouraging so that team members can share the types of evaluation that each person prefers. Try to balance the information that is gathered using different measures. Strong teams have diverse people with different skills and opinions about how to proceed.

  • Direct observations showing changes before and after staff training
  • Surveys of satisfaction with services
  • Quality of life questionnaires
  • Frequency of incident reports
  • Number of staff sick days
  • Changes in costs associated with workers compensation
  • Interviews with people served, staff members, guardians, or community members
  • Stories describing how person centered practices are changing HCBS
  • Document reviews highlighting improvements
  • Written feedback from staff
  • Satisfaction, climate, quality of life surveys
  • Pictures capturing changes that are occurring


Please use the HCBS Planning Tool to complete the activity.

Discuss evaluation approaches with team member to learn their preferences and strengths. 

  • Which team members are comfortable using quantitative data?
  • Are there team members who prefer qualitative sources of information?
  • How balanced is the team in preferences for using quantitative or qualitative methods?
  • Are team members or other staff members in the organization who are good at using Excel or other graphing programs?
  • Are there people in the organization who spend more time working on evaluation?
  • What types of programs are used to organize and record data?

Minnesota Team Checklist

HCBS Planning Tool

If you haven't already done so please use these links to access the tools.