Improving Systems, Practices, and Outcomes

Data Quality

The following materials were developed by ECO to help states improve the quality of their outcomes data.

An overview to ensuring quality data is provided in the presentation Quality Assurance: Looking for Quality Data (2013).


Pattern Checking to Ensure Data Quality

Data Patterns for COS Ratings: What to Expect and What to Question (2019)

This document provides guidance on analyzing and displaying Child Outcome Summary (COS) data to investigate the quality of the COS ratings. For each pattern discussed, a rationale, expected pattern, unexpected pattern and guidance for interpretation are provided.


Pattern Checking Table (2012)

This table describes strategies for using data analysis to improve the quality of state data by looking for patterns that indicate potential issues for further investigation. The pattern checking table was revised July 2012. Work is currently underway to expand the document including information about how to use the table and example visual displays of patterns. The expanded version will be posted as soon as it is available.


Looking at Data

This presentation covers child outcomes data analysis and use and is designed for intermediate or advanced learners, particularly those who are responsible for or interested in data management, interpretation, and reporting.


Documenting the COS Rating

Guidance for Documenting the Rating on the Childhood Outcomes Summary (COS) form with Evidence Organized by Level of Functioning (2010)

This guidance is meant to help COS teams practice writing the evidence that supports ratings given on the COS form. The written evidence provides a rationale for the rating and therefore should include examples of functioning that led to the rating. The guidance accompanies the version of the COS form with supporting evidence organized by level of functioning, found on the Child Outcomes Summary (COS) Form and Instructions page.

In 2010, a local program developed a documentation key as a quick reference for teams documenting the COS rating.


Reviewing Completed COS Forms

Guidance for Reviewing Completed COS forms

This document describes what to look for when reviewing completed COS forms for quality, including accuracy and adequate, appropriate supporting evidence.


COS Form Record Review

These forms can be used as part of a process for comparing COS ratings with assessment and other information in the child's records:

Some states also have developed their own forms to review COS records:


Implementation Surveys

Surveys of providers can help identify issues that influence data quality and help states plan technical assistance and training activities.


ENHANCE research project Implementation Surveys (2012)

ENHANCE, a research project designed to improve the quality of child outcomes data, consisted of four studies examining the quality of the data being collected through the Child Outcomes Summary (COS) process.


State-Developed COSF Provider Implementation Surveys