Data analysis is conducted through a series of different procedures designed to reveal what the data has to "say." This process of obtaining results from the data you have collected is already a part of what program staff do in the course of their ongoing work. Think about data collection and data analysis as evolving. They are not finite processes, even though they do have to be conducted with timelines and deadlines in mind.
Here are some examples of data analysis techniques that are probably familiar:
- Calculating the percentage of enrolled children whose home language is Spanish
- Tallying the average scores provided by staff asked to rate the effectiveness of an in-service training on a scale of 1–5
- Summarizing the most important comments from parents asked to indicate their preference for half-day versus full-day program options.
Data analysis is the process of combining, comparing, and finding patterns in quantitative and qualitative data in order to highlight useful information, answer specific questions, and inform decision-making.
Resource Type: Article
National Centers: Program Management and Fiscal Operations
Audience: Directors and Managers
Last Updated: August 4, 2023