Posted tagged ‘The Guru’

Can I Manage My Events?

October 31, 2012

Q: Does the application support event management?

A: Orange Leap’s Event module captures and tracks critical data about all of your organization’s events, whether online or in a traditional conference venue.  You can track every aspect of the event – including the venue, speakers, invitations and registrations.  Using Orange Leap’s Guru report writing tool, you can pull up-to-the-minute data about any and all aspects of your event.


Is It Possible To Create New Reports Without Hiring A Report Writing Expert?

October 12, 2012

Q: Is it possible to create reports without having to hire a report writing expert?

A: With Orange Leap’s Guru reporting, scheduling, and distribution tool, custom reports and detailed, customized searches of constituent records are made remarkably easy.  In fact, they are so easy that even users with no coding experience or technical expertise can manage it, without calling on IT support or database administrators.

The Orange Leap Guru is a sophisticated wizard that can help you generate practically any kind of report you can name by guiding you through five simple steps:

  1. The Guru helps you select what kind of information you’ll be searching – whether it be a mailing list or constituent or contact information.
  2. Next, it will allow you to choose the most helpful and appropriate format for your report – for example, you can choose from options such as a spreadsheet running column by column, grouped by fields, or a matrix style pivot table.
  3. It then helps you select any columns you wish to include in the report.
  4. You can add any search parameters such as records created within a certain time frame, types of records, gift amounts, zip code, or any other field you capture.
  5. And finally, The Guru will prompt you to save the report.

Even though Orange Leap’s Guru tool simplifies report writing, some organizations still prefer to have help setting up the reporting process in some cases.  Orange Leap is happy to assist in building a report for a very reasonable fee (or through Orange Plush Extended Services Plan). For organizations that choose this options, they often find they can use the report they have Orange Leap build as a starting point that they can use as a model to build their own reports in the future.

Orange Leap — Simple

November 10, 2010

A simple explanation of how Orange Leap On-Demand software can help organize and manage constituent and donor relationships for non-profit fund raising organizations.

Power and Simplicity are Changing NPO Software

June 29, 2009

Today, we made a joint announcement with Jasper Soft about our game-changing database, data-schema agnostic reporting wizard The Guru. The immediate reaction has been phenomenal. Of the blogs and other media coverage this announcement generated, one in particular caught my eye:

The combination of Orange Leap and The Guru makes digital management of nonprofits dead simple, which is very important in a field often run largely by volunteers with little to no IT experience. Indeed, it points to a concept Jaspersoft CEO Brian Gentile raised on OStatic recently — that open source will fuel what he calls the consumerization of information.

This really gets to the heart of the profound change occurring around technology. Nonprofits have for far too long endured software that required significant ongoing training, cost and time to use. The “consumerization of information” referenced above comes down to one simple concept: ease of use.

Usability has long been neglected by NPO software vendors and the incredible power and cost savings that results from simply combining robust, full-featured software with an intuitive, ‘your-grandmother-can-do-it” user interface is revolutionary.

“Dead simple” is the aim of all of our products. We all know how powerful technology can be when power is combined with simplicity ala the iPhone. When my mother–nearing her 70th birthday and always challenged by VCRs, DVD players or even the car radio–is using an iPhone to email, send pictures and navigate with a GPS , I more fully understand the vital importance of simplicity and usability in design. Empowering all users is at the heart of what any software—and every software vendor—should focus on. Unfortunately, too many vendors have so much revenue tied up in training and professional services that they are unable and unwilling to simplify. Doing so would drastically reduce their revenue per client.

So, take a look at The Guru. And embrace a world where power and simplicity overwhelm inflated costs and time-consuming complexity.

Finally… Freedom from Excel Report and Chart Making!

March 12, 2009

I am excited about our new enterprise reporting product, The Guru (you can read the news release here). Not just because it is a really cool new product that can report off any system and it is easy to use, but mostly because it is actually gong to save me time since we will be using it internally.

In fact, I decided to try and estimate the amount of time I have spent creating, manipulating, recalculating, reconciling and combining reports over the past 10 years. Conservatively, I would put it at around 1,200 hours. That is the equivalent of three work weeks every single year! Scary. And I would think most any fundraising professional, consultant, online manager, direct response manager, etc. is somewhere between half that to double that amount of time (depending on the emphasis your manager, organization or clients place on reporting).

The even more frightening thing is that most folks I have talked to in our space agree that most organizations do not do enough reporting and analysis. The number one cause of that is simple: it is too difficult and takes too much time.

If your experience is remotely like mine (both as a consultant and as a departmental director at a nonprofit), reporting historically went something like this:

STEP 1: Data Extraction – This is the joy of running database queries and reports from the various and sundry systems you need data from.

STEP 2: Manually Merge in Excel – This was one of my favorite tasks as we had to squeeze all that data, fields and metrics often labeled differently, into excel to create the report.

STEP 3: Check Calculations and Reconcile Numbers – Ahh, this was always the best part because, you just knew, that the number from one report that should match up to a number from a different report would not. Or an Excel formula would run a calculation—say year-to-date (YTD) giving calculated by adding the monthly totals—and it wouldn’t match the YTD total the donor management system was giving you. So, you invest a few hours in digging into the underlying data to reconcile the discrepancies (or cross your fingers and hope no one notices).

STEP 4: Build the Charts – Now, most of you savvy report veterans have your report templates in Excel (or elsewhere) that usually include charts already built and reused. The problem seems to come (and it seems to come most every month) when you get asked by an executive or a board member to create a new chart that illustrates trends across X metric or to put it into PowerPoint and make it snappy. Either way, there’s another hour or two gone.

Just writing that (and probably reading it as well) is laborious. That is why I have seen more than one person burn out on the repetition.

Enter, The Guru. The Guru, naturally, does not solve every problem—data from different systems is still data from different systems and cannot be magically brought into reporting harmony. But what The Guru does eliminate is STEP 1, STEP 2 and STEP 4. It takes care of all of that for you using a simple browser based wizard through a four-screen process. It even makes STEP 3 above (Reconciliation) much easier by allowing you to jump back in reports (not start over) and change parameters…or even data sources! That’s pretty cool. No more open up separate applications and browsers and re-running multiple reports or, worse, writing SQL.

So, excuse my enthusiasm and natural bias, but I can say definitively that The Guru could have saved me at least 1,000 hours of time over the past 10 years. That is 125 work days that could have been more effectively spent focusing on the mission, with say 10 or so slated for a nice holiday given my efficiency!

Check it out for yourself at and let me know what you think.