The past week provided another reminder of how integrating data remains a cornerstone for future growth. A number of examples emerged that cause us to think how small organizations like the local church can continue to compete in the integrated information society of today.
- Tech behemoths like Facebook and Snapchat, which thrive off the data they collect from users, announced slowdowns in their revenue due to data tracking being restricted by Apple. iOS users can now grant access to companies for their data to be tracked. This has impacted those who profit off the free access of data.
- YouTube has released ‘shorts’, a short-form video viewing service to directly compete with TikTok. These apps provide a constant stream of content driven to help gather data and habits across the web. The popularity of these platforms indicates the power of providing relevant content every time a user swipes their finger.
- Within the church technology industry, larger companies continue to acquire different data platforms. These acquisitions symbolize the want for churches to have all of their electronic data and information in one manageable system.
An unfortunate downside of data integration that helps drive simplicity is that larger pools of data lead to a service being more powerful. The more information Facebook has on its users, the more powerful their offerings become. The success of these companies is in line with the amount of data they have.
Smaller companies without data access fall behind in the level of insight they can offer. This leads to the big companies getting bigger while smaller organizations get left behind.
When open access to data is removed (as is the example with Apple and the latest iOS changes), services can suffer. While it further protects the consumer from invasive advertising tactics, it also impacts revenue for advertising engines like Facebook.
As we work with churches and other organizations, we focus on finding easy ways to collect and analyze data to best serve their mission.
Finding simple ways to collect data is important to stay in tune with what people want. Whether it be tracking views on a video, number of people in an app, or number of likes on a post, it is important to create baselines so that changes and improvements can be made in accordance to the data.
We continue to help churches find new ways to gather and interpret data so that they can best cater to those around them. New technology is key to make these valuable insights come to fruition.