Analyzing Data

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You are on this page: Analyzing Data

It's an ongoing process
Analyze Data: Analysis is the first step in making sense of the data you've collected, and helps to identify strengths and gaps in your agency's approach to recruitment and retention.

Using data to reveal strengths and gaps

Data alone won't provide you with the steps to take toward a more effective recruitment plan. The key, of course, is how that data is used by your team. Analysis is the first step in making sense of the data you've collected, and in identifying strengths and gaps in your agency's approach, and the underlying conditions contributing to those strengths and gaps. This information helps you address current recruitment needs and plan for future recruitment challenges.

Part of this process is to use data to identify root causes and underlying factors. For example, the data shows a sudden increase in the numbers of infants coming into foster care. Is this a result of a heroin "epidemic" in the area? The number of Spanish-speaking teens has risen dramatically. Has there been a change in employment patterns in the community? Is this trend likely to continue?

Similarly, the data may show a shift in the ethnic backgrounds or primary language of children coming into care.  Your team may find that changing immigration patterns in your area are the root cause of this shift. Identifying root causes of changing data trends helps agencies to be prepared to respond appropriately.

This project is funded by the Children’s Bureau, Administration for Children and Families, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, under a Cooperative Agreement, Grant Number 90CO-1109. The contents of this publication are solely the responsibility of the authors and do not necessarily represent the official views of the Children’s Bureau, Administration for Children and Families, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services or the New York State Office of Children and Family Services.

Children's Bureau
NYS Office of Children and Family Services
Welfare Research, Inc.