In association with

  • Bristol, North Somerset and South Gloucestershire Integrated Care Board
  • West of England Academic Health Science Network
  • National Institute for Health Research

Guide to Secondary Data Sources

Decision Making


Types of Information and Evidence



Strategic / Business Planning / commissioning decisions

Project work and pilots

Individual Funding Reviews

1. What are my information and evidence needs?

2. What is the strength, validity and reliability of this evidence?

3. What is current best practice?

4. What monitoring and evaluation do I need to build in?

5. Who do I need to engage?

Benchmarking Data

Contract monitoring and performance data

Secondary Uses Service (SUS) and/or Hospital Episode Statistics (HES) data

Finance data

Patient and Public experience and outcomes

Key Stakeholder Consultation

Peer Expertise

Research and Evaluation Evidence

NICE Guidelines and Best Practice

Clinical audit and quality improvement data

Grey Literature

Public Health (PH) profiles

Local PH Teams

NHS Digital (formerly Health and Social Care Information Centre [HSCIC])

Commissioning Support


Provider organisations


NHS Evidence

Library Services


NHS England

Clinical Senates

National Benchmarking Service / audit office

National Institute for Health Research (NIHR) journals library

1. Have I reviewed the evidence base and identified best practice?

2. Have I engaged the appropriate stakeholders?

3. Do I have enough information and evidence to inform my decision making?

4. Have I built in adequate monitoring and evaluation?

Example of How to Map Evidence Need Against Data Source


Back to Tutorials & Training