- When mission trip data is stored in a spreadsheet on a laptop, that's a data Island.
- When prayer requests are stored in the President's Admin's emails, that's a data island.
- When donor data is stored in the donor database and the rest of the mission can't get up to data donor data, that's a data island.
- When ministry milestone and benchmark data is hand-gathered, crunched in a spreadsheet, and then pasted into PowerPoint, that's a data island.
Data Silos cause multiple problems for an organization:
If the data silo isn't easily available to the staff person needing the data, then it's only human nature to improvise. They guess at the data, spend time searching, find an incorrect copy of the data, or just give up and skip the data to meet the deadline. Or, without a clear central data source, when new data is created within an organization, the culture may be to create another spreadsheet.
The end result can be:
- Staff make decisions based on incorrect data.
- Staff and donors are frustrated by missing or incorrect data.
- The incomplete, or incorrect, data hurts the reputation of the ministry.
- The board is given reports with conflicting information.
And that's the reason behind this statement in the Ministry Weaver's Culture Statements BaseCamp project: