Identify your goals. Examine the mission and goals of your market, and identify the stakeholders that will help your market in meeting those goals. Identify metrics that will best demonstrate your progress, and would be of most interest to your target audiences. Don’t collect data “just in case” you need it.

Review the data collection methods. Refine your data collection plans based on your market’s capacity to complete the recommended processes.

Create your data collection plan. Identify and document your data collection schedule, and team, and assign basic tasks by completing our 2-page Data Collection Plan. Use the plan and volunteer request letter templates to reach out to secure volunteer commitments if needed.

Prepare your vendors and partners. The data collection process will go smoothly if your vendors and partners understand why and how the data will be collected and shared, well in advance of the market season. Connect with your vendors and partners to share sample reports and explain how the data will help you better run the market and bring in more customers.


Collect data! Based on the metrics you select, you’ll use the following methods to collect data throughout the market season. Each initiative is optional, but once your plan is in place, it’s important to be consistent and follow the schedule you’ve identified.


How each market manages its collected data varies widely. Some markets may use purchased software, others use Google forms and spreadsheets, while still others may track on paper! However it is done, FMC supports all methods with resources and training.