sion. For example, baseline needs assessments can be used to identify barriers to opportunities and indicate corrective actions. Further, they allow for the quantification of results following the implementation of program changes. Finally, data are used to report program performance to aid in the generation of new hypotheses that could be tested by others in a research setting or context and, in return, may benefit the entire field of worksite health management (Edington, 2001).


The Four Faces of Measurement: An Organizing Principle

An effective data management and measurement system can support organizational objectives such as

  • Decision making,

  • Accountability,

  • Improvement, and

  • Surveillance, including longitudinal analyses and knowledge discovery.

A systematic approach, incorporating these “four faces of measurement” described in the quality improvement literature (Solberg, et al., 1997; Pronk, 2003a), can serve as an organizing framework for data management- and data measurement-related objectives. Such a framework adds to the realities of the business setting that demands an approach to data-driven decision-making processes.

This framework also encourages managers to explicitly recognize various approaches to data collection and use, measurement, and reporting, and thus provides support for the reporting needs at the various levels within the NASA organization. A discussion of each organizational measurement aim from this framework follows.

Measurement for Decision Making

Measurement can be used to support decision making. To do so, leadership at appropriate levels must be aligned with its respective decision-making authority and have access to specific data analyses and information. At NASA, for example, to make decisions regarding investments in specific health-related programs, leadership at the headquarters level as well as at each individual center needs to be informed on environmental policies and risk factor prevalence statistics to be addressed; cost-related

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