Why would I take data?

Simply put, data helps you make decisions and allows you to avoid emotional opinions or reactions related to behaviors that may otherwise evoke emotional feelings. It helps professionals make decisions that can change your child's life for the better.

Odds are, if you are working with a professional (or on your own) to change beahivors improve skills, you've been asked to collect data.  

Because You Can Do It

Although parent reports may be useful as an indirect report of behavior to inform ongoing therapeutic interventions by a trained practitioner, when caregivers themselves collect behavioral data while implementing interventions with their children, this practice produces positive outcomes (Singh, 2012).

The data that caregivers have been trained to obtain ranges from child skill acquisition and challenging behavior frequencies to taking self-monitoring data on treatment integrity (Nadler, 2012; Singh, 2012).

You're already paying attention anyway

Sundberg et al. (2018) suggests that one way for a parent, as a teacher, to evaluate their child's treatment should be the collection of behavioral data directly related to the what the treatment is addressing. They stated that because of the extensive time spent with their child, a parent might have upward of 220,000 learning opportunities with their child per year, indicating importance for the caregivers to be equipped to both teach and evaluate their teaching.

Need more reasons?

For families of children with developmental disablities, taking data can be extremely helpful and already being requested by that childs mental health proefessional. 

An appropriate system of data collection allows the practitioner to evaluate treatment efficacy on an ongoing basis.
Having parent control more in their children's intervention programs can strengthen trust in the professional and also help parents feel more efficacious with their childrenwhich may in turn, function as motivation increasing the likelihood of engagement with treatment
When treatment is paid for by insurance the behaviors slated for change must be measured to demonstrate a positive therapeutic outcome. it is difficult to rely solely on verbal reports as a substitute for accurate observation of behavior. This difficulty is because changes in the rate of behavior are difficult to describe if not impossible to do objectively.