The Health Survey is closed! Now what?

What’s next for the Best Starts for Kids Health Survey? 

Over the past 8 months, over 5,750 parents and caregivers have taken the Best Starts for Kids Health Survey. Thank you to all who contributed by taking the survey or helping us spread the word! Your survey answers help us understand the strengths and needs of our kids, family, and communities. 

Thank you to our survey participants!

With this year’s survey now closed, we’re all curious to know what happens next! Our Data and Evaluation team is already hard at work crunching numbers and getting ready to share it with communities. We caught up with Eva Wong, our Evaluation Lead, and Anne McNair, our Social Research Scientist, to learn more about what we do with the health survey data. 

What happens next with the answers parents and caregivers provided? 

Eva: First, we have to make sure that everyone’s survey responses remain confidential. We take that very seriously. Only staff who are trained to work with confidential information can see survey responses, and they remove all personally identifying information. After that, our partners at UW send the results to King County. 

How do you analyze the data? 

Anne: First, we have to “clean” the data. That means we go through and remove things like typos and other errors that would create inconsistency. With over 5,750 survey responses, that’s actually a big job! 

Eva: After that, we start to crunch the numbers. There are a lot of statistical methods we use to look for trends and start to draw conclusions. For example, looking for meaningful differences between groups and King County overall. 

How do you know what it all means? 

Anne: We know that the numbers are actually just one part of the story. For example, the survey will tell us how many mothers surveyed breastfeed their babies, but it wouldn’t tell us why some parents choose to breastfeed, or what barriers they face. That’s why we work closely with communities to help us shape the story their data tells. Over the next year, we’ll be inviting parents and caregivers to community-specific data dives. At these events, community members will have the opportunity to discuss the survey results, tell us what it means to them, build relationships and ask questions. 

You can learn more about our approach to community-owned data on this blog series

Where else will you share it? 

Anne: Once we are confident about what we’re learning, we will be able to share data more widely with the appropriate context. We’ll update data on the Best Starts for Kids website and our interactive indicators page. We’ll also publish data briefs that add context from our data dives and help explain what the data means for our communities. 

If you want to stay up to date with the latest Health Survey results, be sure to subscribe to the Best Starts Blog! 

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