About This Series
Publication Date: January 2010
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Step 2. Review Existing Data Sources

The next step in the needs assessment process is to answer your needs assessment questions. First, review any data sources that already exist, such as previous studies conducted in your area and documents and records from relevant organizations. When reviewing these, keep several things in mind:

  • Do the existing data directly address your community and your issue? Are the data recent or outdated?
  • Do existing documents and records provide enough information to answer your needs assessment questions?
  • Do you have access to all relevant data from key organizations? How can you gain access? What if you cannot gain access?
  • What additional data do you need to answer your needs assessment questions?

If additional data are needed to answer your needs assessment questions, it may be best to collect new data. The next section discusses how to collect your own data.