Beginning in January 2020, congregational and diocesan leaders in The Episcopal Church will have access to a new online resource here and here for understanding history and visioning the future with the data collected through the Parochial Report. The General Convention Office has contracted with Datastory Consulting to create a web-based, interactive tool to map data. Datastory will be a familiar organization and tool to those in The Episcopal Church who have worked with New Episcopal Communities or with FaithX Consulting.
“This tool provides a robust platform for communities to understand and use their data in new and exciting ways,” says deputy executive officer, Rev. Molly James. “While much of this information may already be known, there is something particularly enlightening and profound about seeing all the information collected and mapped out in one place. This tool will help our communities to better understand the neighborhoods and contexts in which they are situated, as well as providing wonderful possibilities for future collaboration.”
“In previous years, we have only published reports to show trends churchwide,” says Iris DiLeonardo, research & language specialist, “It takes time and technical know-how to create specialized reports. Rather than having to request and wait for a report, this new tool will enable congregations and dioceses to interact with their own data at the local level. Now graphs and trends are only a few clicks away.”
The “Know Your Neighborhood” resource will be available on the General Convention and Episcopal Church websites. When a parish is selected, a pop-up window will offer brief stats on membership, attendance and income. The user will then have the opportunity to “Explore Trends” and “Explore Neighborhood.”
In the trends area, a user can access graphs of the past 10 years of data for a parish, a grouping of parishes, a diocese, or a group of dioceses. Toggle buttons in the upper left enable users to search for parishes that have similar sized membership, pledge & plate, or attendance. The graph at the bottom will initially show membership. Clicking on tabs will show additional graphs of pledge & plate, and attendance.
Clicking on “Explore Neighborhood” opens an interactive PDF that provides basic demographic data about the neighborhood within a 15-minute driving radius of a parish. Each box has clickable data. Users who want to know more about the age breakdown or the generational “segments,” for instance, simply click on that box to dive into more information. The second page of the PDF provides a link to additional consulting services to help Episcopal communities use and better understand their data.