8 Types of Data to Track in Apricot Software
Social Solutions Apricot™ software is a platform. It is a foundation from which you can build a robust and functional nonprofit data management system. That means you can track just about any type of data using Apricot software. Because Apricot software is customizable, it can be your organization’s all-in-one nonprofit database software.
In this post you’ll learn the eight types of data you can track with Apricot software and high-level descriptions on how to implement each one.
Before You Get Started
Before you dive in and start developing forms, fields, and layouts to track your organization’s data, it is important to remember these tips and best practices.
- Develop a Apricot form blueprint that describes the layout, fields, and linking structure of your proposed form. Some upfront planning will ensure that you build the right data tracking components in your Apricot database.
- Because Apricot is a platform and highly customizable, there are no standard reports, dashboards or analytics. Anything you build in Apricot will require custom reporting; so don’t forget to build reports after your forms are complete.
- The Apricot database structure is flexible because it can be customized, but try to keep your data structure within the confines of Apricot best practices. Pushing Apricot’s functional limits can negatively impact reporting, system performance, and usability.
- More data tracking requires more management, maintenance, and administration. As your Apricot database grows, the roles of your Apricot administrators will grow as well. Increased data will require more data quality reports and procedures, more reporting requirements, and potentially more end-user management.
- Lastly, reports drive the structure of forms, fields, and links in Apricot. Start any form building project by defining the reports you want first. Work your way backwards to define the forms, fields, and links required to create your required reports.
With these tips and best practices in mind and some upfront planning, your organization will be ready to build more robust data management capabilities into your Apricot database.
1. Client, Case, and Program Management
Client, case, and program management are Apricot’s most popular functions. Both the “Apricot for case management and outcomes management” and “Apricot for domestic violence” platforms are specifically designed for managing clients, client program enrollments, services provided to clients, client assessments, and client referrals (both internal and external) among other client and program management functions. Apricot can be used to track social work case management, human services, and social services programs. Apricot’s power is its ability to aggregate, correlate, and display program related data to show program and client progress and outcomes.
Client, case, and program data tracking are created in Apricot using the standard Tier 1 and Tier 2 structure. Tier 1 forms capture static data that don’t need to be tracked in time like client profiles, intakes, or face-sheets and Tier 2 forms capture dynamic data that needs to be tracked in time like enrollments, services, assessments, and referrals. Linking between forms adds density to the standard Tier 1 to Tier 2, parent to child form relationship, which allows for relational reporting among unrelated forms. Apricot is very good at managing program and case management related data.
2. Grant Application Management
Apricot can also manage grant related data both from the grantee and grantor perspectives. The “Apricot for funder’s” platform is specifically designed for grantors who are managing the in-flow of funding applications and the out-flow of funding monies. However, organizations that apply for grants can manage the pre-award and post-award phases in Apricot as well.
As with any data tracking in Apricot, a grant management system is built on Tier 1 and Tier 2 forms. The setup of these forms is dependent on the types of reports you want to develop, but a Tier 1 form could capture static data on a particular grant and Tier 2 forms could capture actions, activities, interactions, deadlines, and due dates for various processes related to that grant.
3. Project and Event Management
Are you looking to tighten your organization’s project management systems? Are you looking to be more effective at managing events, projects, and the people involved in those projects and events? Apricot can help you do that.
You might consider adding a Tier 1 form that captures descriptive data on a project or event. Then you can link staff or volunteers to that project or event using a Tier 1 to Tier 1 link. In addition, you can add Tier 2 forms to track work completed by project, inventories of materials added or used for different projects, and tasks or to-do items. All of these data elements can be aggregated into report-based bulletins, placed on the Apricot home screen as a dashboard, and used to keep projects and events on-track and on-schedule.
4. Volunteer Management
Volunteer management is another popular data set to track in Apricot. A Tier 1 form can capture static, demographic data on the volunteer (i.e. name, phone number, email, availability, etc.) and Tier 2 forms can track their work (i.e. hours), certifications, trainings, and confidentiality and release statements.
With these data tracking elements, you can report on rosters by volunteer demographics as well as calculate the total work completed by all volunteers or a specific group of volunteers. You can also run reports for volunteer lists that match the requirements of a specific project or task, or generate a list of volunteers who haven’t completed required certifications or trainings.
5. Donors and Fundraising Management
Apricot can manage donor and fundraising data, but Apricot isn’t a full-fledged nonprofit CRM out-of-the-box. It lacks some of the standard features available in common nonprofit donor management and fundraising software platforms. These features include: payment processing, online donation forms, email marketing, and letter merging. In addition, you need to build the data management features for donations, pledges, interactions, major gift tracking, and constituent segmentation from the ground up in Apricot.
However, Apricot can manage this data for organizations that need to track and report on donor and fundraising data without needing to use Apricot as an engagement and interaction tool (i.e. email marketing, mail merges, payment processing, etc.). You can setup a Tier 1 form for donor information and Tier 2 forms for pledges, donations, interactions, notes, and other time-based, dynamic data.
6. Partner, Vendor, and Staff Management
The days of managing lists of partners, vendors, and staff on Excel spreadsheets are over. If you have rosters, lists, or contact details for your strategic partners, vendors, or staff; import them into Apricot. Your human resources (HR) department will love Apricot because they can manage staff demographics and profiles as well as their certifications, professional development, pay information, and all other relevant HR data in a single location.
Apricot can be an HR database for your organization, which is often a big upgrade for the HR department. A Tier 1 form can be used to add the profile for a partner, vendor, or staff person and Tier 2 records can be used for dynamic supplementary interactions and time based records. These records can be aggregated to produce rosters or HR performance data (depending on how your Apricot database is setup).
7. Surveys and Feedback
Do you need to gather feedback from people who don’t have a login to your Apricot system? Whether the feedback needs to be anonymous or not, you can gather survey feedback in Apricot and aggregate that data using Apricot’s reporting tools.
Simply setup a Tier 1 form with your survey information, set the form as an online web form (an Apricot feature), publish the form to the web and share the link with the target audience for your survey. Your target audience can then go online, fill out the form, and the data will be automatically pushed to your Apricot database.
You can watch the survey and feedback data stream in real-time with bulletin dashboard reports or a customized report displaying survey data.
8. Membership Management
Much like managing donors, you can manage your members in Apricot too. You can track the member’s profile as a Tier 1 form and then add Tier 2 forms for memberships, upgrades, and renewals. When setup properly, this data tracking system can be used to manage the membership process and keep your members updated.
The hardest thing about a membership system is keeping up with the different renewal dates and inquiries from members. With your Apricot database, you can build real-time dashboard reports to show all memberships that expire within a certain time frame so you can follow-up with expiring members. In addition, you can setup queues for member inquiries so you can address member questions quickly.
You can use real-time reports and clearly defined internal methods and procedures to manage your membership program effectively using Apricot software.
Is Apricot all-in-one nonprofit database software?
Apricot is a powerful nonprofit database software system. You can use it to track pretty much anything.
There is one common question we receive from organizations evaluating Apricot for purchase. Can Apricot be used as an all-in-one nonprofit database software system? Yes, it can! “Get more” from your Apricot database by making it your all-in-one nonprofit database software system.