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. The Farmers Market Metrics data collection methods are broken into three categories: document review, observation (which includes counting), and surveys.
Create your data collection plan. Identify and document your data collection schedule, team, and assign basic tasks by completing our streamlined, 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.
Track your progress. Once entered into the Farmers Market Metrics website, your data is displayed in dashboards and tables in real-time. Which of your promotions are bringing in more visitors? Which market activities are causing sales to increase? Export all of your datasets into .csv files for further analysis in Excel.
Farmers Market Coalition members can login to Farmers Market Metrics to create an Operating Organization account and set up a market profile at any time. Take a look around! Access to the automated data collection and reporting features, training materials, templates, and support is provided when a Farmers Market Metrics subscription is added to membership. Click here to sign into your FMC account and add a Metrics subscription.
Not an FMC member yet? Join here.
An Operating Organization can manage data for up to five markets under one account. Additional markets, and one-on-one consulting services can be added to the basic Farmers Market Metrics subscription a la carte. Services include bulk uploading of existing data sets, and one-on-one technical assistance with grant applications, and vendor application integration through Farmspread. To aggregate and analyze data across many market Operating Organizations, researchers, state associations, and funders will want to sign up for a Farmers Market Metrics Network account.