(This is the fourth of eight articles on MapDash for Faith Communities Analytics)
Two of the most asked questions about analytics provided by MapDash for Faith Communities are about the Congregational Vitality Index (CVI) and the Congregational Sustainability Index (CSI). Both are powerful analytic tools if used wisely. The purpose of this article is to help MapDash users properly understand these tools, so they can interpret them appropriately and apply them effectively.
What They Are and What They Aren’t
CVI and CSI are not assessments. Assessments are direct, graded, criterion-referenced measurements that provide objective answers at a point in time. They make judgements based on facts that either inform or imply what the decision maker should do about it. Example (sailing): Is your boat currently leaking? If yes, fix the leak. If no, good to go.
CVI and CSI are indexes. Indexes are a collection of indicators that sample and describe the relative overall direction of factors that are correlated with a particular concern and may be predictive of it, but do not measure the concern directly. They describe a trend and let the user discern what the trend means and what to do about it by filtering insights through the organizations vision, mission, commitments, resources, etc. Example (sailing): If you continue to sail in the direction you have been, are you heading shoreward or toward the open sea? If you mean to sail across the ocean blue, go on with your bad self. If not, better tack toward the shore.[Read more…]