Current Initiatives

Developing Data Capacity

Data and Analytic Capacity

All Head Start programs need to collect and analyze data and other information to find ways to improve their operations. Bringing continuous improvement to the field means using data, evidence, and evaluation at all levels.

This Toolkit

Building capacity to use data to make better decisions is not a one-time, quick-fix project. It will require an organizational shift that will take time and require deliberate changes in process, capacity, and approach.


This toolkit is a living, breathing resource, and NHSA needs your help to keep it so! Let us know which parts are the most useful, which could be improved, and if there is any new content we should add. E-mail

Developing Data Capacity

Do you know what skills to look for in a candidate to be your data manager? How about if you're ready to hire a data manager? Have you considered writing an RFP for contracted data work? This guide provides resources for hiring or contracting someone to do data work, such as questions to ask when interviewing, skills to look for in a candidate for various positions, boilerplate job descriptions, and language for RFPs to retain analytic services.

Remember, everyone will find different pieces of this toolkit useful, so feel free to focus on the elements that meet your program's needs. You can review the whole toolkit or select individual pages from below.

Download the full toolkit.



This work is a product of NHSA's Data Design Initiative.

What does the toolkit include?


Learn about why and how you should be implementing data tools and processes in your Head Start program.

Assessing Data Needs Checklist

Evaluate where your program is currently and where you should start your data journey.

Data Tools

There are many tools available, from the simple to the complex, to bring data analysis, visualization, and integration into your program.

Hiring Staff vs. Contracting Out

Assess whether your program is better suited for hiring new data literate staff or working with data consultants.

Posting New Jobs and Sample Job Descriptions (1) (2)

Review draft language for various data-related job descriptions and learn where to recruit data staff.

How to Integrate Data Literacy into your Normal Hiring Process

Identify possible ways to incorporate data literacy into existing positions in your program.

Request for Proposals (RFP)

Learn about Request for Proposals, review draft language, and explore lessons for hiring consultants.

Questions to Ask a Contractor

Tips on questions to ask a potential contractor to identify if they are a good fit for your program.


Catch up on some of the common lingo used in the data analysis world.


E-mail Victoria Jones at to share feedback, questions, and ideas.