6 Must-Know Tips to Clean your Apricot & ETO Data

Nonprofit organizations often rely on robust data management systems to track participants, donors, and other critical information. However, over time, these systems can become cluttered, hinder data accuracy and staff productivity. Duplicate records, unused forms, outdated workflows, and other inefficiencies are just some examples. We encourage organizations using Bonterra’s Apricot or ETO to engage in some “Spring cleaning” of their systems. We have compiled 6 ways you can optimize your data management system for better performance and outcomes. Our expert tips will help you clean your Apricot or ETO data and give it a complete springtime refresh. 




A guide to cleaning your Apricot or ETO data


1. Clean Up Duplicate Participant Records

Despite best efforts, duplicate participant records can quickly accumulate in a data management system, leading to confusion, inaccurate reporting, and wasted resources. To address this issue, it’s essential to build a comprehensive report of all participants and use creative methods to identify duplicates. For example, you can look at common fields such as names (excluding date of birth) and remove middle names to identify potential matches. Once you identify duplicates, develop a plan to merge the records and ensure that you retain the most accurate and up-to-date information.

Looking for some support? Treadwell can help you by building reports and providing expertise in merging duplicate records, ensuring a clean and streamlined participant database.



2. Disable Unused Forms/Touchpoints

Forms and Touchpoints in a data management system that are no longer in use can clutter the system and make it harder for staff to find relevant information. To address this issue, you should build a report to assess the usage of forms and Touchpoints over the last year. If a form or Touchpoint has received significantly fewer responses than expected or has not been used at all, it may be worth considering whether it should be disabled or removed from the system.

Need some assistance? Treadwell can assist you in building reports to assess form usage and provide recommendations on how to strategically manage unused forms and Touchpoints for improved system efficiency.



3. Clean Up Workflows

Workflows are critical for managing processes and automating tasks in a data management system. However, over time, workflows may become outdated as processes change or new steps are added or removed. It’s essential to regularly assess and update workflows to ensure they accurately represent current processes. Organizations should review their workflows and make necessary adjustments to align them with their current operations.

Treadwell can provide expertise in evaluating and optimizing workflows to ensure that they are streamlined and efficient, saving time and effort for staff.



4. Assess Fields with “Other” Options

Fields in a data management system that have an “Other” option can lead to inconsistencies and inaccuracies in data entry. To address this issue, build a report to identify fields with “Other” options and review the data entered when “Other” is selected. If there are common additions, it may be worth considering adding those options to the field to reduce the need for selecting “Other” repeatedly.

Treadwell can assist you in building reports and providing recommendations on how to optimize fields with “Other” options for improved data accuracy and consistency.



5. Remove Unused Reports/Reorganize Existing Reports

Reports are essential for generating insights and data-driven decision-making in a nonprofit organization. However, over time, reports can accumulate and clutter the system, making it harder to find relevant information. You should regularly review your reports and remove any old or unused reports that are no longer necessary for your processes. Additionally, reorganizing existing reports into logical categories can make it easier for users to locate and use them effectively.

Treadwell can provide expertise in identifying and removing unused reports. We can also assist you with reorganizing existing reports for a more organized and efficient reporting system.



6. Assess Required Fields

Consistently missing data for key fields can hinder the accuracy and integrity of your nonprofit’s data. It can result in incomplete participant profiles, inaccurate fundraising reports, and challenges in measuring program outcomes. That’s why it’s crucial to regularly assess your required fields and ensure you’re capturing all the necessary data points.

Treadwell can assist in creating custom reports that provide insights into the data gaps in your system. These reports can help you identify which fields are consistently missing data and prioritize them for correction. For example, if you notice that participant email addresses or demographics are frequently missing, you can take action to require these fields when entering data to ensure you consistently capture them moving forward.

In addition to building reports, Treadwell can also provide administrator training to your nonprofit’s data management team. This training can help your team understand the importance of required fields. In addition, it will show them how to enforce them in your data management system. They can learn how to configure your system to make certain fields mandatory when entering data. This will ensure that no critical information is overlooked or omitted.



Why is keeping Apricot and ETO data clean so important?

Ensuring your Apricot or ETO data is kept clean may not be the most fun task. However, it is a crucial step to ensure accurate and trustworthy analysis. Skipping this may seem to save time, but it could cost you more than just time in the long run.

Dirty data can be a real headache and can lead to a variety of issues. So, we strongly recommend to tackle Apricot and ETO data cleanup regularly to prevent the accumulation of data quality challenges. Rather than waiting until it’s too late for major cleanup projects, investing in smaller, regular procedures can save time, money, and stress down the line. Keep your database spick-and-span for reliable and insightful analysis.

If you’re not sure how or where to start with your data cleaning, feel free to reach out to us. We’re here for nonprofits, and it’s our mission to help you succeed, so we’ll always recommend what’s best for your organization.



Need help with your Apricot or ETO software?

Focus on what you do best and leave the data to us.

Treadwell is Bonterra’s (previously Social Solutions) only certified implementation partner for both Apricot and ETO software. Schedule a free consultation to learn how Treadwell can increase your impact and help you reach your goals.

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