A leader must identify the internal and external needs to inform the creation or updating of an information management system. Once the needs have been identified, an analysis of the current infrastructure components to support the vision for managing information should be completed. The infrastructure includes the physical capacities and technologies to implement the four processes of managing information (data collection, data analysis, data access and data dissemination) and the required staff capacities to implement the plan’s goals and objectives.
Environmental trends include data that enable root cause analysis to determine which programs are working and which aren’t, and which goals are being met and which are not. Trends also point to the performance of specific units within the agency and overall correlation to the agency’s vision, mission and values. The agency will need to collect and analyze data to guide strategic
decision-making and making necessary adjustments. At this stage, information is gathered to develop a baseline and inform a
statement of need.