How do you decide which data analysis procedures to use? The wording of the questions you asked and the actual data collected will influence your choice of analytical procedures to use and the results that will follow. Because most community assessments gather both quantitative and qualitative data, programs need to use a variety of analytical procedures that match the data collected. One community assessment consultant stated,
Only using statistics to get a sense of what's going on in a service area is like looking through a dirty window. You have to go outside to really get the clearest view of what's happening in the neighborhood. You have to walk around and talk to people.
Moving to action too soon will prevent you from examining an issue from multiple angles, thoughtfully reflecting on emerging findings, and obtaining feedback from others.
Many techniques and procedures for data analysis exist. Decisions about which to use at what times depends on the data collected and the type of insights you wish to gain from its analysis. Appendix B has several resources regarding data analysis, including information about:
- Data analysis techniques
- Displaying the data
- Attributes of good data display
- Annotated data bibliography
- Glossary of data analysis terms and concepts
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For an overview of some of the most commonly used data analysis procedures, see Appendix B-3: Data Analysis Techniques.
Resource Type: Article
National Centers: Program Management and Fiscal Operations
Audience: Directors and Managers
Last Updated: August 4, 2023