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International Resources for Latter-day Saints

LDS Church Growth, Member Activity, and Convert Retention: Review and Analysis

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Chapter: III-17: Correlating the Data

In view of wide differences in definitions, methodology, reporting criteria, considerable care must be made in scrutinizing the qualifiers and the context of any statement or finding to ensure that its meaning is correctly understood. Ambiguities and uncertainties must be acknowledged so that erroneous conclusions are not drawn on the basis of unsupported assumptions.

Different studies offer varying perspectives on the same underlying realities. The proper correlation of data from different sources can allow us to arrive at conclusions that reflect the underlying realities with a high degree of confidence. Correlating data from sources with significant in precision or uncertainty with sources offering greater precision can often help us in interpreting the less precise data set.