Using Data

One way to mitigate personal biases is to use data as a tool to help define the problem and find solutions. Data, however, is not immune to bias; recognizing its limitations and using it as a tool rather than absolute fact can help apply an equity lens.

Applying an equity lens pertains to all choice points in your data process. From what you collect to how you analyze and disaggregate the data and how you present it all affects how decisions are made in response. The right data allows for a focus on eliminating disparities and supporting solutions so that all people are allowed equitable opportunities to reach their full potential. Inequities exist due to a myriad of systemic social, economic or environmental factors which should be constantly brought forth through the data processes. By applying an equity lens to data gathering and dissemination, you can help identify, assess, and reflect on the potential impact a solution has or the impact a solution already underway is having on communities with different needs in their social context.

Resources

  • What Do the Numbers and Text Really Mean: Using Data to End Health Disparities and Strengthen Communities is a publication by Community Science for the National Partnership for Action to End Health Disparities. The guide is designed to help users understand how an equity lens can be applied to creating a data-driven strategy.
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