Analyzing Internal Church Interview Data

teacher at chalk board writing equations

Internal interviews are a great way to discover existing corporate knowledge. You get first-hand accounts of customer feedback from church staff and volunteers. Yet it may not be clear how to analyze the notes you took during those interviews. This article explores how I analyzed results of interviews I recently conducted.

The approach I like to take is both objective and subjective. It may seem tedious, but will help produce accurate results. You find problems that span your church. Some may exist in only one ministry. Yet others are platform-specific. Regardless, get your spreadsheet skills ready. There is some analysis coming for you. To get you started, I included an example screenshot of how I organized my data.

Start With A Spreadsheet

Input your data into a spreadsheet. The first columns are all the groupings and questions used in your interview. Examples I gave were internal demographics, perceived customers, pain points, and wrap-up questions. Repeat the groupings so they match the questions. This will make it easy to sort and filter your results later. Also, add a number that corresponds to the question. This will allow you to return to the normal order of questions after sorting by other data points. Now you are ready to jump into the results of your first interview

Separate Answers

The next column will house your answers. In many cases, your interviewees will give you several answers to a question. If you ask about which platforms people engage the most, there will be several responses. Then add each answer in separate lines. The next column should be the name of that first person’s answers you added. Add an indicator next to all their responses. Given that you only have one person’s answers, it should be easy. I suggest using a “1” to make counting easier later on.

Add More People

Hopefully you interviewed more than one person. Add the next participant next to your first. If they gave a similar response, enter a 1 in the appropriate row. For new answers, insert a new row. Keep answers to the same questions grouped together. Continue adding your people across, and your answers down. Remember this an unweighted response. If you want to give more prominence to a person’s results, give them a higher value than just 1. It does not need to be a whole number increase. A slight decimal increase could help add priority to some interviewees. One thing to consider is how often they talk with users. Another could be their leadership role in the church.

Tally, Sort, Think, and Pray

After you add in all those results, you will need a column somewhere to count the number of times an answer was given. This count will obviously show where you where the biggest pain points are for your users. You might also want to filter on questions or groupings to see a more focused view. A last step would be to think about these findings and what projects they may translate to. You might need to revise existing content. There may be gaps in a user’s digital faith journey. You could better integrate ministries for easier customer service. Read some scripture, pray for guidance, and be ready to make a plan.

Action Item

This article may look extra long from the photo I added. Do not let that fool you. This process is quite lengthy as well! But in the end, you will have a bank of great information. If you did not start making and conducting interviews, do so now. Also, make backups of your data, and document the process for next time. Use this tool wisely to inform your future decisions. Check back soon for more information on how to apply these findings.

Author: Stephen Morrissey

I have been making websites since 1996, and using social media since 2006. My current profession is designing user experiences for corporate software, websites, and mobile applications. I started sharing my knowledge with the world in 2011, about a year after a revival in my faith.