What can you tell me about using the SDB to help us plan for the future?
The SDB contains lots of information about the following:

  • Shambhala members, non-members, ex-members and friends
  • Programs offered throughout the mandala
  • Registration and Participation at those programs
  • Staffing at programs
  • Shambhala Centers throughout the mandala
You can look at a single Center, at a variety of regions or mandala-wide.

If you are interested in using the statistical side of the SDB to answer questions that will help with understanding the past and planning for the future, the SDB team would like to work with you!

Please contact Ed Keizer ( the Supervising DBA -- he can help you find your way with the data.

Note about Data quality throughout the SDB

Of course the data in the SDB depends on every local center and user's ability to understand how to set up programs and users correctly.  Because users are fallible, "busy people with poor eyesight", we advise you to assume that the data is mostly correct.  If you are getting an odd answer, do discuss with Ed whether there are ways to improve your query.

If you are looking at mandala-wide information about programs, here are some things that you will like to know.

We recommend that  for general programs, you don't look back farther than 2008.  This is the first year that most centers were using the SDB.

Keep in mind that from 1972 to 2008 we are missing thousands of programs that never will be in the SDB.  The data doesn't exist.

The SDB contains most tantrika-level programs before 2008 like Varjayana Seminary, Kalapa Assembly, and many of the Abishekas, but we are missing many participants for these programs and there is no staff information at all.  It is also common to find staff registered as participants in these programs.

For some people, you'll find that the natural data flow for the ST path seems to be strange as people make up old programs. Example GES done 5 years after WA is common. We recommend that you omit the GES participation from your sample.

 If you are looking at program participation -- for example "When did people taking level 1 get to Warrior's Assembly"? -- be aware that 4-5 % of program participation records have duplications.  You will see Person A having 2 or more participation records for the same program (usually at different dates).  This can be because of an error in the data load, the person took the program once and then later staffed the program and they were recorded both times as a participant, or even because they took the program twice.  Just write your query to look at the earliest program participation records. We feel this will give you a reliable answer.