Why should I pay for MapDash when I can get the same data free? (Hint: You can’t.)

By Ken Howard

We’ve been getting this question a lot these days from our Episcopal clients: 

“Why should I pay for MapDash or Neighborhood Missional Intelligence Reports (NMIRs) when I can get the same data free off the Episcopal Church (TEC) website?”

The short answer is, “You can’t.” While all three are valuable tools for missional decision-making and there is certainly overlap between them, there are differences in the purpose and scope of each. The Know Your Neighborhood (KYN) report, the Neighborhood Missional Intelligence Reports (NMIR), and a subscription to a fully-equipped MapDash for Faith Communities platform each allow the user to ask and answer progressively broader and deeper questions. 

Here is a brief description of each of the above (click here for more detailed descriptions and comparisons):

Know Your Neighborhood Report – A First-Look Snapshot. This first-look, 2-page online report provides congregational leaders with external context for congregational data: selected parochial report data and 15 demographic stats within a 15-minute DriveTime boundary around every Episcopal congregation in the U.S. (each report tied to a specific congregation). Click here to read the official TEC press release.

Neighborhood Missional Intelligence Report – An In-Depth Interactive Report. This 4-6 page report provides congregational leaders with an extensive infographic report describing neighborhood context in terms of more than 40 demographic/lifestyle data and trends for multiple DriveTimes, each of which may be clicked or hovered over to view more detailed tables or charts. It also adds the ability to “drop a pin” on any location in the U.S., whether or not a congregation is currently located there, which makes it an excellent tool to explore potential new sites, possible congregational mergers or relocations, or potential areas for intensive outreach. Developed by Datastory in collaboration with FaithX, it is available to users who subscribe to MapDash for Faith Communities or who engage FaithX for a Neighborhood Missional Assessment or other consultative services. 

MapDash for Faith Communities – An Analytic Platform. MapDash provides provide users with access to more than 100 demographic/lifestyle data and trends, along with analytic data that is literally available nowhere else. MapDash analytics provide an interactive, map-based analysis of congregational vitality and sustainability, missional opportunity and challenges, like membership and ministry areas, key missional context data, and more. Combining all of this with consultative missional planning assistance empowers faith leaders to ask and answer questions at even broader and deeper levels (the Episcopal Church’s Convention Office has negotiated discounts for NMIRs and other FaithX services accessed through the Know Your Neighborhood portal).

For more information, contact Ken Howard, Executive Director of FaithX, at ken@faithx.net.

Want to help your congregation more effectively engage the neighborhoods it serves?

Click here to schedule a
no cost preliminary missional intelligence discussion
and receive a sample Neighborhood Missional Intelligence Report
for your location

Those who engage a full Neighborhood Missional Assessment or other consultative program from FaithX will receive a complete NMIR in interactive (dynamic HTML) format.

Want to help your judicatory identify emerging missional opportunities within its boundaries?

Click here to schedule a demo/discussion
of MapDash for Faith Communities
for Strategic Missional Planning

FaithX is a 501(c)3 nonprofit organization and Ken’s faith-based consulting practice at FaithX is carried out under an extension of ministry from the Episcopal Diocese of Washington.