Community Assessment

Key Considerations in Preparing to Analyze Data

a toddler girl holding a baby doll
  • Ensure all data analysis team members and others on the community assessment team understand the importance of the data analysis and its impact on the provision of Head Start services to eligible children and families.
    • If your program has hired consultants to help with the community assessment, ask them to provide preliminary analysis of collected data at specified intervals.
    • Keep key staff informed of your progress and ask them to support the data analysis process by reviewing preliminary findings. This can allow for early course correction or the inclusion of additional in-depth questions to explore an emerging or new issue.
  • Solicit ideas from the governing body/Tribal Council and Policy Council about the data analysis process. Do they have particular questions they would like the data analysis to address? Do they have suggestions about the best ways to format the data, such as in graphs, tables, or maps? As the data analysis gets under way, continue to solicit their suggestions.
  • Include a strategy to update the governing body/Tribal Council, Policy Council, and other key players about the progress and findings emerging from the data analysis. Ensure the results are useful and presented in a format that can be understood by a layperson. In particular, ask if the visual presentations, such as tables and graphs, are effective and comprehensible.
  • Identify tools that support data analysis.