Before collecting data, the best way to determine what you want to measure is to start with your topic(s) of interest and refine the topic(s) into specific guiding question(s).
Numerical data can help answer your refined question with counts, ratios, etc. that can be compared and tracked for change over time.
It is important to have a plan for what to do after your data have been collected, including who will properly convert it into meaningful answers to your questions and what decisions will be made based on those answers.
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