Emerging ChMS Trends For Collecting Data

Tuesday, April 15, 2014 7:50:00 AM Categories: Ministry & Technology
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I often say about CMS software that it's not about what software can do, it's about what people will do.  To me the single most important part of development is design and usability.  Historically we've thought of input design in terms of an intuitive navigational interface.  That continues to be important, but there are emerging technologies that input data that have some real potential.

Bar Codes - Bar codes are the most commonly adopted one with CMS so far.  They are used for fixed check-in systems to speed up locating someone.  

QR Codes - QR Codes have been around awhile but are slow in their adoption.  Churches have used them for linking people to an Internet bulletin, their website, online giving and other website related connections.

RFID - Radio Frequency ID (RFID) has been used in industry for a long time to track inventory management.  We've thought about using it to help with taking attendance, but something about embedding a chip seems creepy if not apocalyptical.

Social Media Integration - There is a definite move in software to integrate with social media information likes Facebook.  Of course each individual has to opt in to let us use the information.  This integration has a lot of potential in the future not only for demographic information gathering but also for sharing and networking that could be a great help to church marketing.

Proximity Software - The most common proximity technologies are GPS and near field communication.  Some retail establishments use these already to alert people to deals when they walk into stores.  They are also available as ways to pay from your cell phone.  These technologies are catching on slowly.  If they do, there could be some cool uses for tracking attendance, involvement and volunteer hours like we've never been able to capture before.

Facial Recognition - Facial recognition is a staple of TV investigative and detective dramas.  It's a bit creepy to think about putting a camera in front of the auditorium to do attendance based on facial recognition.  But, who knows what possibilities this technology might hold.

Multi-Lingual Capability - With mobile adoption world wide, it is just a matter of time before we need to take CMS to multi-lingual platforms.  The potential here is huge for missions and better connecting the global church.  Our challenges will be coming up with support and economic models that make it sustainable.  We're committed to getting there.

So those are some of the trends I’m seeing related to gathering data in ChMS systems.  Last week I wrote about business trends among Church Management Software companies.  You can read that article here.  

What Church Management Software trends are you seeing?

Boyd Pelley. Is Co-founder and CEO of Churchteams.com. He served for 18 years as Discipleship Pastor, Church Administrator and Family Pastor for churches in New Mexico, Nebraska and Texas. He has a bent toward improving processes and a passion for making disciples. Married for 27 years, he and Pam have 2 grown children.