Community Assessment

Purpose of Data Analysis

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Data analysis is the process of combining, comparing, and finding patterns in data to highlight useful information, answer specific questions, and inform decision-making. Quantitative data includes numerical counts, percentages, community demographics, and qualitative data refers to opinions, feelings, themes, ideas. Throughout Step 4, it is crucial to keep in mind the overarching purpose of the community assessment and the reason why your program is analyzing detailed information about the service area:

To design a program that meets community needs, and builds on strengths and resources (45 CFR §1302.11 (b))

As you begin to develop your data analysis plan, you will need to make decisions about what kinds of analytic procedures to use and how to present the findings. Although the process may seem overwhelming at times, data analysis is a logical sequence of steps. As you tackle each step sequentially and in a deliberate and thoughtful way, a clearer picture of your community will begin to emerge. If you are unclear about whether it is important to analyze a particular data set, review the HSPPS requirements and ask if the data analysis is addressing the topics set forth in Step 2.