Data are one of the most important tools you’ll use in your efforts to prevent youth violence. Having the right data will help you better understand the youth violence in your community, including where it occurs, how often it happens, and who it affects. This information will help you check assumptions about youth violence in your community. Data can also help you rally support, focus your efforts, monitor your activities, and measure your progress.
To begin, look at the data already available to your team. With a diverse team, you can increase your access to different data sources. For example, if your team includes a member from the schools, you may be able to access school discipline and attendance reports.
It’s a good idea to pick data you can easily update. Once you select and begin implementing your youth violence prevention strategies, you will want to gather new measurements to monitor your progress. To learn more, visit the Outcomes section of this site.
“Data has been most helpful in elevating the conversation about violence as a health issue.”
- Rebecca, Program Director (Portland)
You can use the Data Tracking Tool below to:
• See the types of data relevant to your team’s prevention focus, and get insight on collecting that data
• Identify the data that you’ll be gathering and tracking to understand youth violence in your community
• Enter a baseline – a starting measurement for each type of data
Having a baseline measurement is important, because it becomes your starting point. Keep in mind that what you measure is something you will probably want to measure again. Meet with your team and other community leaders to discuss data sources that may be available. It is possible that someone else has access to data you need. If you still cannot find data, you may decide to collect new data. Check out the Helpful Resources in this section for additional help.