INTERPRET THE DATA
Understand What is Being Measured
It is important to understand what is being measured and how. Several types of data information are available in this document: numbers, percentages, county and state rates, and county rankings. The Methodology & Sources section details what data is included and its source.
Beware of Small Numbers
County populations vary significantly. Such variations should be considered when interpreting the differences among counties. Low rates may appear in counties with large populations. Relying solely on rates, without considering the numbers involved, may result in overlooking locations which have large numbers of children.
Remember the Uses and Limits of Data
The data contained in this Portfolio provides important baseline information. Effective use of data requires it to be understood in a broad context. Such information provides one way to look at how children are doing in a county or state, offering the starting place to initiate dialogue with others who share your interest. There are many important perspectives required to piece together a complete picture. Collect additional data and viewpoints to flesh out the most useful view of child care in your own area.