40.3 Analysis and interpretation of public health data
Techniques of data analysis and interpretation are given in the Module on Health Management, Ethics and Research.
Data analysis is the organisation and systematic examination of the data you have collected. Data interpretation is the process of understanding and communicating the meaning of your data. These are the next steps in surveillance after data collection and recording. Before you can explain what your data means (interpretation), you need to organise the data in a meaningful way, and then analyse the data. A particularly useful analysis to carry out is to calculate the number and types of new cases (the incidence rate) of every disease or disorder, and see how the occurrence is changing over time. This section shows you how to do this.