Data Analysis

Wiki Article about Data Analysis

Interpreting Average Annual Growth Rates (AAGRs)

Determining the Average Annual Growth Rates for a church or a group of churches in a region allows us to establish where the Church is growing, either in the number of believers or number of churches, and where it is not. In other words, the AAGRs establish the FACTS of Church growth; but the Church Growth Analyst also wants to understand the FACTORS causing this growth or decline. To determine the FACTORS, further investigation is needed.

Worker to Population Ratios as a Measure of Engagement

In the 19th century and the early part of the 20th century, the worker to Population Ratio was a statistic often used evaluate of how "engaged" a non Christian population was.

Data Analysis Techniques

Describing how to do data analysis is not easy. There is really no recipe to follow. There are some basic techniques and principles to learn. There are some pitfalls to avoid. But beyond that there is just the task of careful and meticulous thought and imagination. There is no formula for that.

It is important, at this stage, to recruit the help and opinions of insiders in the population under study. Their observations will come from the world-view of the respondents. This may yield explanations quite different from those of an outsider.

Making Growth Projections using AAGR

A researcher may be called upon to either evaluate whether the team’s objectives or the proposed faith-based goals of church leaders are realistic and attainable. Or perhaps the researcher will be asked to suggest realistic growth goals and objectives. These goals could pertain to both the growth of the number of Christians and the growth of the number of Churches. Two approaches to setting and evaluating growth goals based on Average Annual Growth Rates (AAGR) are presented here. Also three perspectives on actual AAGRs are presented.

Church Growth Data Analysis and Interpretation

This article describes three types of church growth data analysis: the Population to Church Ratio, The Number of New Congregations Needed and The Number of Evangelicals per New Church Needed. Examples are provided from Eastern Europe of how church growth data can be interpreted and results communicated using graphs and maps. Step by step instruction is provided for certain calculations, graphing and mapping tasks.

Outline:
A. Church Growth Data Analysis

How to determine what's hot and what's not using standard deviation

Let's suppose you are analyzing the Average Annual Growth Rates for all the counties in a nation, and you want to determine which counties have above average growth and which are below average. Or you might want to know in which counties the church is growing at a significantly faster rate. How do you determine this? But how do you determine to where to draw the line between average growth and extraordinary growth, or on the other side, decline and significant decline? Or suppose you are evaluating results from a survey that evaluated a conference or a program in a local church.

Basic Church Growth Data Analysis

Executive Summary
This article describes the Basic Church Growth Data Analysis that was done by OC International for each of the 42 “counties” in Romania during the period of 1999-2002. Descriptions of the communication tools used are provided. The explanations are given to enable other researchers to perform similar analysis. Data for the “county” of Brasov is used in this example.The attached file describes in detail each communication tool used and the data analysis techniques used to prepare each tool.

Errors in Human Inquiry

  • Inaccurate observation – Failing to observe things right in from of us or mistakenly observing things that really aren’t there.
  • Over- Generalization – Assuming that a few similar events are evidence of a general pattern.
  • Selective observation – Ignoring events or situations that don’t correspond to a preconceived generalization
  • Made up information – Thinking up ways to explain away the events that contradict generalizations.

Calculating Decadal Growth Rates

Decadal Growth Rates (DGR) are often used to evaluate and compare population growth or Christian growth rates. You will need data for a ten year period to calculate DGR. The attached .pdf file explains how to do the calculation.

It is possible to use a calculator or a spreadsheet to perform these calculations. Also there are several similar spreadsheets in the Research Download library (tools) that are set up to calculate DGR.

Tables found in the Church Growth Survey Handbook are useful to determine DGRs (found in the Resource Download library, Training)..
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Calculating Average Annual Growth Rates

The Average Annual Growth Rate (AAGR) is often used to evaluate population growth or Christian growth rates. AAGRs are also useful to make projections about the number of years needed to reach a specific goal.

There are several ways to calculate Average Annual Growth Rates.

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