During the Census conference lots of people showed off the innovative ways that they were using census data to provide unique resources. Two in particular stood out as potentially very useful for ministry.
1. Spot Stats
Aim: To provide easy stats about local areas at the touch of a button.
Spots Stats is a phone app that provides quick, on the spot demographic statistics for whatever postcode area you are in. Load http://www.spotstats.com.au on your phone, upload your currently location and Spot Stats will deliver you a suburb name, postcode and a street map. It will also give you a breakdown of key demographic information like an age profile, most common languages, median income and hightest levels of education. You can also enter addresses to see quick stats for otehr locations!
Probably developed for: Nerds, people who are curious about social trends in a new area, people buying real estate in a new area.
How could Christians use it? Quick prep before walk up or door knocking, equipping and resourcing a mission team or a church.
2. Local Intelligence
Aim: To help people settle well into regional and rural areas, with a long term vision of creating thriving country towns.
At the conference, the founder of Local Intelligence described her organisation as a kind of dating service between people and rural towns. Using census data and an extensive network of knowledgable locals, they help urban and/or migrant families to resettle in the bush. Take, for example, a family who wants to move out of the city. Local Intelligence will take all the skills, qualifications, interests and needs of the family to provide them with a selection of towns where they will be able to settle comfortably. They will make sure that there are available jobs for the working members of the family, and make sure that there is also a soccer club, or the right kind of church, or a karate class, or a piano teacher – whatever the family is interested in knowing about.
And that’s just the first part. Once a family knows where they are going, Local Intelligence will welcome them to the town after they move and introduce them to all the important members of the community. They will stay in touch with the family after the move to make sure everyone has settled smoothly.
Probably developed for: Tree-changers, sea-changers, mining families, families that dream of living in the country.
How could Christians use it? Support for individuals and families moving rural for ministry and/or work, information for people who are considering rural ministry but don’t know where to go, helping Christians to connect to the local community.