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New research explores how data supports ministry decisions 2 GMI Connection - Issue 10 : Article 1

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nl10-1.jpgNew Research Explores How Data Supports Ministry Decisions

"What is the value of mission data if it is not used to inform ministry decisions?" Spurred on by this question, GMI's research division has been working on the Ministry Decision Support Initiative. The effort was designed to discover how ministry leaders are using information to guide their decision-making processes.


The initial study involved in-depth interviews with 25 influencers including Global South Leaders, North American Agency Leaders, Mission Funders, Missiologists, Professors, Researchers, Technologists, Mappers, Authors, and Bloggers. The initial phase will be followed up with a wider email survey among other ministry workers.


Out of the interviews GMI was able to identify some key trends in ministry decision-making including:

  1. Leaders are moving away from a focus on topics that were easy to research and diving into relevant-but-emerging areas where information is not always clear or conclusive. Today's ministry workers are comfortable with a higher level of ambiguity.
  2. Leaders have a growing acceptance of "just-in-time" knowledge that is available at the moment of need even if it is not the conclusive or "final word" on a given subject. This desire comes out of the need to make quicker decisions in an ever-changing ministry environment.
  3. Leaders are willing to gather and apply information iteratively. This means that decision-makers expect to continue adding the latest information to what they already know, rather than trying to build a complete picture at once. This feeds off of the need to make decisions quickly and to understand the ever-changing reality in a given country, field of study or industry.

The interviews also led GMI to develop a group of new product and service ideas that were initially tested at our Decision Support Briefing on January 22nd in Colorado Springs. To view the PowerPoint slides from the briefing and download the executive summary click here.


The Decision Support Briefing was followed by the Installation Service for GMI's new president, Jon Hirst. The theme of supporting decision-making continued throughout the evening.


To download Jon Hirst's remarks and view a new GMI video produced for the Installation click here.


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