Section 5: Data Analysis

Step 5: Interpret Results

Near the end of your food preparation steps, you will also pay attention to cues that your snack or meal is ready to serve (e.g., whether the food has had sufficient time to cook or bake). Similarly, you will want to review and compare your analysis results to standards in the field as part of interpreting your findings.


A. Review your data to identify patterns

Patterns in your data may be related to observed relationships among independent and dependent variables, trends for different subpopulations within the overall population, or extraneous variables that alter anticipated relationships of independent and dependent variables.


B. Refer to existing indicators and standards

As noted in previous sections, indicators are used to quantify and compare data across settings and populations.

Tools Icon

Tools and Resources

The Good Indicators Guide: Understanding how to use and choose indicators
Provides general guidance on indicators.

References to available national, state, or local standards allows you and your partners to reflect on an evidence base for assessing your intervention’s progress toward achieving the goals and objectives (i.e., exceeded standards, met standards, did not change, or changed in the wrong direction).

Several national and international standards are available to guide this process; some already depict numeric indicators and current standards:

Others provide descriptions or recommendations for indicators and standards:

Your indicators and standards are used to judge and communicate intervention success. For instance, if the intervention exceeded or met the standards, these findings can be used to advocate for long-term investment of personnel time and other resources into the intervention to increase its sustainability.

Place your findings in a table to connect indicators and standards from the field to your findings and judge the effectiveness of your intervention. These judgments will inform the content for your dissemination efforts.

View the Resource Table
Next: Continue to Step 6
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