Data Gap Analysis

Measuring what matters isn't easy. And there’s truth in that familiar quote "what gets measured gets done." Acquiring data and developing new metrics in all critical areas of work is essential. It's important if "we want to learn in real time, maintain accountability, manage by results, continuously improve quality, and assess impact" (Lisbeth Schorr, Doing Better by Knowing More, 2011.).

The purpose of a Data Asset and Gap Analysis is to discover data that are available, their strengths and limitations and what data are regarded as important but not available in order to answer essential questions. This type of analysis will foster a better understanding of the relevance and impact of any early childhood data gaps identified and support discussions within and across agencies, organizations and communities on how to bridge data gaps and sustain data assets.

Building Bright Futures will publish a series of Data Asset and Gap Analysis reports that will address essential early childhood questions of child, family and community well-being. Vermont Insights will keep this information on the site.

Data Gap Analysis Process

A six-step process is used in conducting this data asset and data gap analysis. The involvement of key stakeholders and data stewards is included in each step.

  • Step 1: Confirm the question(s) asked (these may be expressed as results expected).
  • Step 2: Determine what types of data and at what level are needed to answer the questions (unpacking the question).
  • Step 3: Search existing data systems and sources that may have the necessary data elements and identify new data developments under development.
  • Step 4: Identify and analyze data assets and gaps.
  • Step 5: Propose strategies to bridge data gaps and sustain data assets.
  • Step 6: Communicate report findings and support discussions on strategy. Evaluate if data gap is addressed.

Mind the Gap: Data Asset and Gap Analysis Reports 

Visit our publications page to see our Mind the Gap reports.

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