This guide explains data-driven decision making (DDDM), a process for deciding on a course of action based on data.
It describes the requirements of DDDM and the steps for applying DDDM concepts to organizations and service systems. It was designed primarily for child welfare agencies and professionals, but others in human services may also find it useful.
The guide draws on the experiences of state, local, and nonprofit child-serving organizations funded through the Children’s Bureau discretionary grant program. It also follows a fictional organization, Greene County Department of Human Services, as it uses DDDM to improve permanency for children and youth by increasing the number of available foster and adoptive homes. Finally, case vignettes illustrate the real-life application of DDDM concepts by current or former grantees.
- Chapter 1 provides an overview of DDDM.
- Chapter 2 explains how to formulate questions and develop a plan to test those questions using a theory of change and logic model.
- Chapters 3–5 cover the steps for implementing DDDM: collecting and analyzing data; communicating results; and refining processes, organizations, or systems.
The guide features practical tools that can be adapted for various settings and self-assessment questions to facilitate reflection and determine readiness to move on to subsequent steps. The appendix includes references, resources, a glossary, and examples of memorandums of understanding, confidentiality agreements, and other materials.
For an introduction to DDDM, see the accompanying video series.