Pulse Survey

The Pulse Survey is a collaborative data collection effort that began in the summer of 2014, designed to help stakeholders understand the conditions affecting the families of vulnerable children.

The Pulse Survey is a collaborative data-collection effort designed to help stakeholders understand the conditions affecting the families of vulnerable children ages 0-5 in Battle Creek, with the intent of exploring and improving the delivery of health, education, and financial services and supports to those families. The survey was developed by the System exChange Team at MSU, BC Pulse, and an advisory committee representing organizations providing health, education, and financial services and supports in the Battle Creek community.

The Pulse Survey was launched in summer 2014; data was collected from 574 vulnerable families across 14 data collection sites in Battle Creek. The survey was designed around the community problem solving framework: a framework that reflects the ways key community conditions (e.g., service quality and accessibility, responsive providers, community mindsets, service coordination) contribute to individuals’ and families’ attitudes, knowledge, skills, and behaviors. The specific areas of interest within this framework were identified by members of the local advisory committee to guide the design and use of the survey.

Pulse Survey FrameworkBecause past data collection efforts often obscured the inequities within Battle Creek, the Pulse Survey was intentionally designed to understand where and how disparities emerge. By oversampling vulnerable families of color, we ensured a sufficient sample size within each subgroup to allow us to conduct multiple subgroup comparisons on our targeted outcomes. Overall, this approach resulted in great insight about how specific populations differentially experience the system and success. Future Pulse Surveys will continue this practice, allowing participating partners to learn more about how disparities play out in the service delivery system and how to address them collectively.

On November 6, 2014, the first round of data was released for community conversation. During two 3.5 hour sessions, stakeholders associated with the Impact Academy and the Action Learning Groups reviewed key findings, paying particular attention to areas where different groups were having significantly different experiences in seeking positive outcomes for their children or families.




 The following data and supporting materials are available for use in the Battle Creek Community:

  • Community Dashboard – highlights data on a handful of key outcomes from all content areas
  • Full Data Report - includes information about methods, the sample, as well as key findings for health, education, and family economic security items
  • Disparities Table - summarizes all of the areas where income, race, age, or employment appeared to have a significant impact on outcomes
  • Strength and Concern Worksheet - lists all of the the areas discussed in the report, with space for noting which findings indicate strengths or concerns in the community

As sense-making continues, stakeholders will continue to develop and refine strategies using survey findings. The advisory committee is committed to survey data being used in many ways throughout the community. To that end, several posters highlighting key data points have been created for use by local organizations. The goal of these posters is to inspire conversation and action among stakeholders throughout the community. Additional posters can and will be created as community organizations find a need and make requests of BC Pulse.

Data Collection

Three versions of the survey were used to collect data from residents in different settings. While each survey had content specific to that setting, all surveys contained questions that were asked at ALL sites.

Pulse Survey Data Used in Community

A recent Battle Creek Enquirer Column highlighted Pulse Survey data points in food systems. Click here to read more.