National EMSC Data Analysis Resource Center
To help you define your project, first write down your overall goal – what you want to achieve. This is usually just a simple statement, such as:
Whatever it is, just make sure it is clearly defined enough that it makes sense. You can also have more than one goal if it seems appropriate.
Now make a list of the objectives within your goal – or the detailed individual questions you want to answer to assess your goal. For instance, if your goal is to “assess the EMSC needs in the state,” your objectives might include the following:
It is always a good idea to have a hypothesis in mind before beginning any data collection project. Now don’t worry – you don’t need to look up hypothesis in your 10th grade chemistry class. Hypothesis = your expected outcome. All this means is that you should try to predict what your expected outcome will be.
For example, if you are doing an evaluation of a training program, your hypothesis would most likely be that student knowledge will increase following the training program. Pretty simple. You don’t have to worry about this any more now, but this hypothesis statement will play an important role later in your project as you define your methods and statistical tests.