Big Data Can Help Inform Future Decisions

Data is suppose to inform future decisions. Data can help save time and resources. If you want to dive deep into big data read “What Stays in Vegas: The World of Personal Data—Lifeblood of Big Business—and the End of Privacy as We Know It” by Adam Tanner. The two line summary of the book is hotels, airlines, and everyone else gives incentives on getting more data on their core users because their core users generate the majority of the profit. Loyalty programs really are about getting research data on what makes core users tick and trying to get core users to open up their wallets more. This isn’t new information, but most the time we do ignore data.

We like the easy way. We have an idea and run with it. The whole checking if the idea is wise isn’t fun. We like to build things and hate evaluating things. Big data stuff is scary and very creepy. It’s crazy what people track, but big data should push the church to use the data we already have to make better decisions. We shouldn’t be creepy, but wise.

One example, Saddleback Church is going through a big campaign right now called “Daring Faith”. People from around the country and globe are signing up to host “Daring Faith” small groups. Over the last couple weeks I have had 385 new groups started and the Online Campus now has 1,385 groups spread out across the world. I have some minor data points on each group, but what do I do with this data? How can this help inform future decisions? 

I took the data I had and ran it through a secure visual data program called and out popped this visual. Every orange tear drop represents a person who is engaged with an Online Campus group online or in a home.


My take away after processing the data > What if groups affiliated with the Online Campus could be one of the many factors to determine where future campuses could go? What data do you have that should be checked regularly? Make time to evaluate and process the data. Be wise and strategic.