Apricot software is a platform that is fully customisable, so you can build a robust and functional data management system that suits your organisational needs. This means that you can track just about any type of data using Apricot software. But before you start developing forms, fields, and layouts to track your organisation’s data, it is important to remember the following tips:
- Develop an Apricot blueprint that describes the layout, fields, and linking structure of your proposed forms to ensure you build the right data tracking components. In doing so, it is important to define the reports you need first and then work backwards to define the forms, fields, and links required to create your required reports.
- Standard reports, dashboards or analytics do not come with Apricot given that the system is purely a platform for you to build upon for your organisation. Therefore, you will need to build some custom reports after your forms are complete, so factor this into your blueprint.
- Although the Apricot database structure is flexible and customisable and can track just about any type of data, it is still important to keep your data simple and relevant. Making your Apricot system too complex can negatively impact reporting, system performance, and usability.
- The more data you have, the more management, maintenance, and administration of that data. So 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.
With these tips in mind and some upfront planning, your organisation will be ready to track the data you need in your Apricot software. This blog will describe eight types of data you can track with Apricot and how to implement each one.
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 enrolments, services provided to clients, client assessments, and client referrals (both internal and external) among other client and program management functions. 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 a Tier 1 and Tier 2 structure. Tier 1 forms capture static data that doesn’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 enrolments, services, assessments, and referrals. You can then add links between forms which allows for relational reporting among unrelated forms.
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, organisations 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
Apricot can also help you tighten up your organisation’s project management systems and be more effective at managing events, projects, and the people involved in those projects and events.
In this case, a Tier 1 form might capture 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. You can then 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 can also be tracked 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 complete Constituent Relationship Management (CRM) platform. It lacks some of the standard features commonly available in a CRM platform, including: 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 organisations 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
If you have rosters, lists, or contact details for your strategic partners, vendors, or staff, you can import them into Apricot. Your human resources (HR) department can use Apricot to manage staff demographics and profiles as well as their certifications, professional development, pay information, and all other relevant HR data in a single location.
So, if Apricot is used for this purpose, 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
If you need to gather survey feedback from people who don’t have a login to your Apricot system, you can do so in Apricot and aggregate that data using Apricot’s reporting tools. This feedback can be anonymous or not. 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 even watch the survey and feedback data stream in real-time with bulletin dashboard reports or a customised report displaying survey data.
8. Membership Management
Just 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.
Apricot is therefore a powerful software system that can track just about anything so it can be the one stop shop that you have been looking for in a database. Ask us how Apricot can be used to meet your needs.