5 Reasons You’ll Love Social Solutions Apricot Software, A Software Review
Social Solutions Apricot™ software is nonprofit database software for tracking social work case management and human service programs. Apricot has the features you’d expect in nonprofit database software in addition to some special benefits that make it a unique database platform for any size nonprofit organization. Most nonprofit database platforms are complex and challenging to use, but Apricot is a database platform your users and administrators may love using!
1. Ease of Use
The primary reason users love Apricot software is that it is easy to use. After attending a demo or training, most users are shocked at Apricot’s straightforward navigation and user interface. Users and administrators find Apricot both visually appealing and intuitive.
Data entry and navigation
Apricot is easy to use because it employs navigation vocabulary that resembles most paper-based case management workflows and processes. Because of this vocabulary, most users learn basic navigation quickly.
Apricot software is built on a Tier 1 and Tier 2 form structure. A group of Tier 1 records (generally a client profile) is like a filing cabinet. Each Tier 1 record is a client folder and within each folder is a stack of Tier 2 documents (generally assessments, enrollments, services, attendances, etc.).
In addition to the navigation and workflow, the data entry screens are clean, minimal, and simple. Users rarely get lost in the database.
Management and administration
Apricot database administrators have access to more functionality than front-end data entry users, but they too give Apricot high marks for simplicity and functionality. Apricot’s drag and drop functions in the form designer (for data entry) and report designer (for data aggregation, export, and visualization) are the primary reasons database administrators think so highly of Apricot software.
The administrator side of the database is also clean, minimal, and straightforward. Apricot doesn’t have every bell and whistle that some database software systems have, but it has the critical elements needed to manage and report data.
Apricot is a database platform. It is a foundation from which you can build a robust and functional data management system. You can track just about any type of data with Apricot software.
Apricot is a blank canvas that you can customize with data entry forms and fields. You decide what data to track, how to track that data, and what reports to generate from that data. Because Apricot software is customizable, it can be your organization’s all-in-one nonprofit database software.
Go beyond standard case management and program data to track other organizational data.
- Wondering where to put data about staff like performance reviews and human resources data?
- Trying to decide how to track time devoted to a specific internal project?
- Want to add a program or service delivery process to your existing operational structure?
- Need a solution to collect online responses for a survey?
- Looking for the best way to track data for a fundraising special event?
Track all of it in Apricot!
Why you’ll benefit from Apricot’s flexibility
- Apricot will grow with your organization. As your data and reporting requirements grow and evolve, so can Apricot. You can scale up or down as needed.
- Apricot can track nearly any data set, so if you have data and don’t know where to put it, Apricot will be there to collect, manage, and report your data.
- In most cases, Apricot can become an all-in-one database. The dream of housing all of your data under one roof is a reality with Apricot software.
3. Custom Reporting
What is the number one nonprofit database software challenge that is also the number one way to get the most from nonprofit database software? The answer is, “Reporting!”
Time and time again, users get the most frustrated and fed-up with database software when they can’t get data out of the system. You may put lots of data in, but it is frustrating if you can’t get that data out. Falling in love with a database software system has a lot to do with reporting.
Reporting is a skill that takes time to master in any database software. The same is true with Apricot software, but most find Apricot’s drag and drop, filter-based reporting system intuitive and straightforward to use.
Apricot doesn’t come with standard reports out-of-the-box. All Apricot reports must be built from scratch for every new database (except the AVS version that comes with some standard reports). This isn’t surprising considering the Apricot platform is fully customizable and every organization uses Apricot a little differently, which is why it is so refreshing when administrators can jump into the report designer and start building reports right away.
Other benefits of Apricot reports
- A report is a combination of multiple sections, so you can report on multiple data sets in the same report view.
- All reports may contain charts, graphs, and visualizations. Charts, graphs, and visualizations are customizable and dynamic.
- Apricot reports are built for real-time runs, meaning they automatically update with new data based on the report criteria every time you run them.
- The report designer contains many advanced features like comparison reporting, first/last created filters, compound filters, outcomes and conditional formatting, custom expressions, grouping, and percentages among other features.
Apricot is setup to visualize data in dashboards out-of-the-box. Dashboards visualize data so reports are easy to read, interpret, analyze, and communicate. You can add a graph, chart, or visualization to any report and every report in Apricot can become a dashboard.
Dashboards are created from Apricot reports. Dashboards are placed within bulletins on the home screen. Because dashboards are built from reports, they are infinitely customizable. Your organization can build a unique set of dashboards specific to your goals, business metrics, and benchmarks.
Apricot is a data engine out-of-the-box. Scorecards, benchmarking, and data-driven analysis are all possible with Apricot software.
5. User Administration
User administration is a must-have in database software. It is especially important when dealing with complex data structures, confidentiality, and large organizational charts. Nonprofit database software that manages social work case management, human service, volunteer, donor, grant, and other data sets is too valuable to leave wide-open to all users. Most organizations need the ability to lock-down elements of the database, open up others, and manage user permissions so the right people get access to the right data.
Apricot administrators have access to a full-featured user management system.
- Organize users into groups (departments, sites, cohorts)
- Customize permissions to specific features
- Limit user access to specific records
- Disable users, manage logins, and require password conditions
Apricot gives administrators the tools needed to manage both a user’s feature access and data access so they can keep the database clean and healthy.
If you’re looking for a future-proof database platform that can grow with your organization, you’ll need robust user management tools. Apricot meets that requirement.
Behind the scenes, the Apricot developers are working hard to make Apricot even better. The Social Solutions Apricot development cycle and the choices made by the software development team on what features to develop are two more reasons Apricot is a great nonprofit database platform.
- The software development cycle is how quickly a software vendor pushes out new releases, incorporates user feedback, and improves the software.
- The choices made by a software development team relate to what features they implement in the software development cycle.
These two mechanisms are critical for SaaS (software as a service) platforms like Social Solutions Apricot software.
To start, Apricot’s pace of development is steady. The Apricot development team pushes new improvements regularly. Overall, Apricot’s pace of innovation is commendable and is an assurance that they are committed to make the software better in the long-term.
Next, Apricot’s development team makes practical choices on how they develop the software. Some software vendors make cosmetic or aesthetic updates, but Apricot’s development team continues to tackle major projects that increase the value of the software. Every software update and release makes sense and actually adds functionality to the system. Apricot gets better with every new upgrade and release.
Apricot and your nonprofit organization
There are many more reasons you will love Apricot software. But Apricot isn’t right for every organization. Conduct a thorough nonprofit software selection process before making a purchasing decision.
Most organizations will find that Apricot is a breath of fresh air and a welcome addition to their nonprofit technology ecosystem. Apricot software is simple, robust, and functional. That combination is powerful and can lead to higher utilization of technology that in turn leads to increased technology capabilities in your organization.