Community Development Data Information and Analysis Laboratory (CD-DIAL)

Who We Are

CD-DIAL is a technical assistance unit within Iowa State University Extension and Outreach Community and Economic Development that helps communities, organizations, and state and local agencies identify needs and evaluate their assets.

Our Mission

To improve the quality of Iowa community life, CD-DIAL educates and provides technical assistance in program evaluation, research methodology, and data analysis to communities, agencies, and organizations.

Our Experience

  • More than 30 years of surveying Iowa communities
  • Skilled facilitation in problem identification and strategic planning
  • More than 15 years of program evaluation experience
  • Studies conducted in every Iowa county and many cities

Working together, we will

  • Identify problems
  • Define survey methodology
  • Collect data
  • Analyze data
  • Communicate findings through written reports and oral presentations

Data collection services include

  • Mailed paper-and-pencil surveys
  • Telephone interviews
  • Focus groups
  • Online surveys

Studies are carried out using a collaborative, facilitated process.

Group of Capital Day ParticipantsOur Products

CD-DIAL has collected and evaluated data of a variety of subjects for clients throughout the state, a few of which are featured here.

Iowa Community Forestry Survey, 2010

The Iowa Department of Natural Resources Forestry Bureau and Trees Forever engaged CD-DIAL to conduct a survey of Iowans involved in urban forestry projects. Via an online survey, respondents were asked to evaluate the implementation of community forestry projects, challenges to program delivery, and urgent needs. The results were presented to the natural resources and agriculture committees of both the Iowa Senate and House of Representatives.

Story County Health Needs Assessment

In collaboration with the ISU Nutrition and Wellness Center and the ISU Center for Survey Statistics and Methodology, CD-DIAL conducted a comprehensive health needs assessment for the Story County Community Coalition. The methodology included focus groups, printed surveys mailed to a random sample, and an online survey open to the public.

City of Ames Residential Satisfaction Survey

Focus Group Participants

Since 2009, CD-DIAL has conducted a residential survey for Ames to evaluate the services it provides to citizens and to identify areas in need of improvement. A survey was mailed to randomly selected respondents. To obtain a better representation of ISU students, the survey was conducted online.

Clay County/City of Spencer Needs Assessment

CD-DIAL worked with a local needs assessment steering committee representing the City of Spencer, the Clay County Community Foundation, and the Clay County Local Housing Trust Fund. CD-DIAL designed, printed and mailed surveys; collected responses; and analyzed the data.

Buchanan County Conservation Board 2010 Needs Assessment

CD-DIAL assisted the Buchanan County Conservation Board (BCCB) to conduct a survey to inform the board as it developed its long-term plans for increasing the quality of life through programs of conservation and education. This needs assessment is a follow up of a previous assessment done in 2005.

The methodology for all of these projects included follow up with postcards, phone calls, or e-mail.