Extension professionals often assess community needs to determine programs and target audiences. Data can be collected through surveys, focus group and individual interviews, meta-analysis, systematic observation, and other methods. Knowledge gaps are identified, and programs are designed to resolve the deficiencies. However, do Extension professionals look deeply enough into the data to identify subgroups that will allow more targeted programs, or are programs based on only superficial analysis? Cluster analysis allows data to reveal demographic patterns and relationships involving survey respondents. It allows Extension professionals to more precisely target program audiences and thus effectively achieve program impacts.
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Skelly, J., Hill, G., & Singletary, L. (2014). Probing Needs Assessment Data in Depth to Target Programs More Effectively. The Journal of Extension, 52(2), Article 7. https://tigerprints.clemson.edu/joe/vol52/iss2/7