Analysis: Contextualization of Process and Content

  • Marieke VerschuurenEmail author
  • Hans van Oers
  • Henk Hilderink
  • Neil Riley


The processes of indicator selection and data collection have been explained in the previous chapters. The next step in climbing the information pyramid is the analysis phase. This includes the calculation of indicator values (moving from data to information) and, subsequently, placing these indicators into a context in order to make them meaningful for policy (moving from information to knowledge). However, performing an analysis does not only imply a contextualization of content. For a population health analyst, it is also important to understand the context of the process of analysis and ask questions like: who has commissioned the assignment, and for what purpose? What are the values, norms and customs of the organization I am working for, and how do they impact on my analysis approach? How do available resources influence the analysis process? In this chapter, first a framework for getting to grips with the context of the analysis process is provided. This includes understanding the why, how and what of the analysis. After that, a framework for contextualizing indicator values is described. This entails two main steps or activities: comparing indicator values and integrating the thus obtained information with information from other disciplines and perspectives. For both frameworks, practical guidance, examples, tools and caveats are provided. The chapter ends with an overview of current and future developments that are expected to significantly influence population health analysis practice.


Indicator value Analysis Brief Context Comparison Geographical area Time trend Scenario study Integration Synthesis Information Knowledge 


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Further Reading

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Copyright information

© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  • Marieke Verschuuren
    • 1
    Email author
  • Hans van Oers
    • 2
  • Henk Hilderink
    • 1
  • Neil Riley
    • 3
  1. 1.Centre for Health Knowledge IntegrationNational Institute for Public Health and the Environment (RIVM)BilthovenThe Netherlands
  2. 2.Chief Science Officer Health System Assessment and Policy Support, National Institute for Public Health and the Environment (RIVM)BilthovenThe Netherlands
  3. 3.Commissioning Strategy, NHS EnglandLeedsUK

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