This is the first of five modules in the Data System Improvement Toolkit. The toolkit was developed for grantees of the Tribal Maternal, Infant, and Early Childhood Home Visiting Program to help them strengthen their data systems. It may also be useful for other programs in the human services, education, and early childhood fields.

Module 1 helps programs—

  • Determine if they can use a commercial-off-the-shelf (COTS) data system or need to develop a customized product
  • Develop working relationships with software vendors and/or system developers, depending on their needs

The introduction to Module 1 outlines its goals and terminology before providing an overview of the tools, including a decision guide outlining the benefits and limitations of a COTS data system and an overview of common COTS products and their basic features. Additional tools walk readers through the nuances of end-user software license agreements and help programs clearly communicate their own expectations and requirements.

Use the available downloads box to access individual tools, including modifiable versions when available. The full toolkit can also be downloaded as a single PDF file.