From a process perspective, information management encompasses four distinct core activities – collection or data capture, analysis, access and dissemination. It also acknowledges the importance of training for users of the system, establishes a governance structure and addresses the management of agency performance. Therefore, management of information implies a deliberate, strategic investment of the necessary time and resources in relation to each of these activities.
Data Collection and Storage Data Analysis
Data Access Data Sharing
Data Dissemination/Communication Training
Accountability for Managing Agency Performance
Data can be used to tell the story of an organization, state or jurisdiction. Like any good story, there are often levels of nuance that underlie the simple expression of the information. Familiarity with child welfare trends and the characteristics of the population being examined is a necessary prerequisite to being able to adequately interpret and communicate the knowledge gleaned from the data.
Finally, realize that this work is never done. Even if you create and implement a stellar information management plan, with buy-in and full cooperation from all levels of staff and with smoothly functioning processes for producing, disseminating, understanding and utilizing the data, you still need to step back periodically and examine your assumptions about the relationship of agency
performance to outcomes for children and families.