Big Data in Ministry

The future of organizational success lies within big data and the use of analytics. In 2011, IBM surveyed 4000 IT professional in 93 countries and 25 different industries, and what they found was that big data and business analytics is a major business trend across the board along with mobile, cloud computing, and social business technologies (Shim et al., 2016). Big data can take many forms: from web data to social media data, biometric data to human data (Shim et al., 2016). The way data is collected is growing exponentially, and organizations are gathering data through sensors, meters, home appliances, health care claims, handwriting, retinal scans, call records, and genetics (Buytendijk & Laney, 2013). Analytics can process terabytes of information almost as fast as the information is created and can provide organizations detailed reports on the way to improve customer relations, marketing, problem detection, and even discover root problems with developed products through the use of gathered analytics (Shim et al., 2016). Data analytics is no longer an optional competitive advantage for organizational success, it has become a requirement to remain a viable organization (Coderre, 2015).

This is true for ministry leaders. There are a vast number of tools available for ministry leaders to utilize that will assist them in developing a clearer strategy to reach their communities. It goes beyond measuring Sunday morning attendance and what is placed in the offering plate Gutzler, 2014). Technology has changed how data is collected and made it more accessible to more organizations, regardless of their education levels and experience acumen. The key to ensuring data analytics has the best chance of success lies in managing the people, processes, and technology aspects of the initiative (Coderre, 2015).

As ministry leaders, what information is vital to developing better strategies of service to the community?


Buytendijk, F., & Laney, D. (2013). Drive Value From Big Data Through Six Emerging Best Practices. Gartner Inc. Retrieved from

Coderre, D. (2015). GAUGE your analytics. Internal Auditor, 72(4), 39.

Gutzler, M. D. (2014). Big data and the 21st century church. Dialog, 53(1), 23–29.

Shim, J. P., Koh, J., Fister, S., & Seo, H. Y. (2016). Phonetic Analytics Technology and Big Data: Real-World Cases. Communications of the ACM, 59(2), 84–90.

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