1. The first step is to clearly understand and articulate what outcomes you want to report on.
2. Identify the metrics that will indicate these outcomes and what do you need.
3. Decide which of these you wish to measure and why you have picked those. Its often smartest to pick the least complex metric to measure - use of technology to do this is often most prudent.
4. Spend the most time thinking through the rationale and plan to use technology- finding /designing the tools and using the same is easy.
5. Using technology will need deployment of resources- people and money- identify how much you are willing to invest in this and why.
6. If a simple tool like excel works, then it OK to use the same.
7. Using non technology means and methods (such as paper) at the field level to collect data- while may compromise accuracy (which can be overcome through other methods) can sometimes be cheaper to do. Computers, ipads, phones are both expensive, difficult to maintain and figure out if something goes wrong at the field level.
8. Broadly, usefulness of technology is dependent on a)Size of organisation b) nature of programme, c) type of outcomes that are desired d) availability of resources within the organisation and e) Intent of the key functionary which is the most critical element .