The Importance of Data

Data is essential throughout any initiative. Early on, it helps define the problem to be addressed and makes the case for change. Data helps to determine “where we are” and “where we want to be” as it informs the establishment of goals and targets. As implementation starts, data helps support both monitoring of program implementation and program improvement to guide course corrections. Later, data can provide evidence of program success, cost effectiveness and positive return-on-investment. Such data are important for building support to sustain the program redesign.