In order to assist public policy makers to understand how a state’s configuration of services and supports stacks up against national norms, HSRI uses national data to compare a state’s performance to accepted system principles. This gap analysis is an assessment of the distance between what a system is currently doing and what it seeks to do in the future. The analysis begins with a definition of key expectations for desired system performance. These expectations serve as the basis for appraising current performance. In the analysis, HSRI compares a state’s current service system against established benchmarks derived from HSRI’s nationally recognized work in developing quality assurance indicators. These analyses, which have been carried out in Illinois, Texas and North Carolina, lead to recommended action steps that a state can take to meet or surpass national norms.