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Data for Decision Making

Follow our guidance to find and understand data about young people and their communities. By using our guidance, you can make better and more informed decisions about your provision for young people. 

Understanding data on children and young people’s lives and their communities can help you to understand the needs in your community, prioritise areas to work in, or issues to address. It can help you to make the case for your work to funders and decision-makers, and inform judgements of how effective your provision is in wider contexts. 

Using data well is vital for making better and more informed decisions when designing and delivering youth provision. 

Our guidance will help you find data to inform your provision. Practitioners and managers working with young people can use our guidance to find relevant data and save time from hunting for data that doesn’t exist.  

In each topic you will find:  

  • An overview of data available in this topic. 

  • A selected list of key data sources. All are freely available online. Many link to national data sets which allow you to drill down to your local level. We also tell you about data which is likely available by local statutory services.  

  • Information on how to use, interpret and apply this data. Use our top tips for using this data to ensure it is applied correctly to your decisions.  

  • Examples of how others designing and leading youth provision have used data in their decision making. 

This is a new guidance suite. Please give feedback on how useful it is and how we could improve it by contacting us. 

This guidance was accurate as of March 2022 and was developed with support from the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport.