Data gap analysis is the process of analyzing existing data to determine where an organization is not producing or evaluating data that would be beneficial for its operation. Essentially, there is a gap in the organization's data.
There are a wide variety of entities that might utilize data gap analysis to improve their operations, ranging from large corporations to small businesses. Entities that particularly lean on data, such as large retailers or hospitals, are among the organizations most likely to incorporate the practice of data gap analysis.
The goal of data gap analysis is to improve an organization's efficiency. Data helps organizations understand their operations, including both where they are working well and where there is room for improvement. Data gap analysis helps an organization see where it is missing data that would demonstrate possible inefficiencies.
Data gaps can be created in a number of ways. The data might not exist, it might not be accessible, it might not be completed or it might not be evaluated and studied adequately, according to the Open Group, a not-for-profit consortium that stresses business efficiency.
Tom Gresham is a freelance writer and public relations specialist who has been writing professionally since 1999. His articles have appeared in "The Washington Post," "Virginia Magazine," "Vermont Magazine," "Adirondack Life" and the "Southern Arts Journal," among other publications. He graduated from the University of Virginia.