Meaningful Data

arda header_logoI feel like a lot of data I come across is useless, but today I was introduced to data that could change lives and ministries.  I’ve spent the day at Wabash College again with 17 other young pastoral leaders from around the state. 

This program is just knocking it out of the park with the caliber of presenters we get to hear from.  This time it includes the foremost expert on religious data in the United States — Dr. Roger Finke of Penn State University and the Honorable Juan M Solana, Consul of Mexico. 

Tomorrow’s discussion dives specifically into immigration issues Indiana is dealing with, but today we were introduced to a wealth of resources available to us to sort out specific information about our communities.  We also had a stirring discussion about how this data is processed (it’s amazing how our personal perceptions of our communities are confirmed..or debunked). 

Among the incredible resources out there:

www.thearda.com — the most comprehensive and user-friendly site I’ve ever seen.

Also recommended:

www.epodunk.com

www.pewforum.com

www.city-data.com

Some of these have a “religious” element to them, but I have to imagine they would be useful for researching almost anything related to demographics of a specific part of the USA.

~ by Greg Lee on May 12, 2009.

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