Community insights on successful data use

As members of the global digital health community, we share the common goal of improving how strategic information is collected, managed, shared, and used to make decisions and drive impact. In July, BAO Systems conducted a survey to better understand what the global digital health community considers priorities, challenges, and opportunities for effective data use. We received responses from Monitoring, Evaluation, and Learning, IT/ Information Systems/ Data Management, and Program Management/ Program Operations professionals, working in East Asia and Pacific, Sub-Saharan Africa, the Middle East and North Africa, Latin America and the Caribbean, and Europe and Central Asia.

When asked about the challenges, the majority of respondents believe the greatest barriers to creating a culture of effective data use are at the site level (Figure 1) and root causes are sub-optimal use of digital solutions and staff capacity to perform and consume analytics (Figure 2). 

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Figure1. At which system level do you see the biggest challenge in creating a culture of effective data use for decision making? (n=32)

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Figure 2. What do you see as the root cause(s) of ineffective data use at that level? (n=32, multiple responses allowed)

Looking towards the future, we wanted to know which digital health tools should be prioritized to improve data use. Out of those who responded, 28% identified analytics and visualization, 18% noted offline mobile data collection, and 9% highlighted that they do not think technology is the issue. We also wanted to learn what enabling factors the community considers to be most needed to support the uptake and use of digital solutions to improve data use. Half (50%) of the respondents emphasized the need to build staff capacity on digital health tools and data use and 45% cited improved internet connectivity. Other popular responses included interoperability (25%) and government buy-in (20%).

Thank you to those who participated in the survey! 

Click here to respond to the next pulse survey on individual level data collection tools and integration with aggregate systems.

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