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Understanding Software for Fund Accounting

Many organizations such as nonprofits, non-governmental agencies, K-12 school districts, state, and local government agencies depend on grants to fund some of, or in many cases, their entire operations.  In the United States alone there are over 1.5 million nonprofit organizations [1] .  Winning grants can be difficult, especially for competitive programs, so managing the grants that your organization receives is critical to making grants successful and to paving the way for additional grants in the future. Grants nearly always come with compliance requirements such as post-award reporting and spending guidelines.  A surprising number of organizations track grants in spreadsheets and use email as their  principal means of sharing information and automating workflows.  This increases the risk of poor data integrity and usually requires monthly spreadsheet updates and distribution to decision-makers. Organizations that receive grants should use a financial solution, such as  Serenic Navi

Microsoft Power Apps and Oracle

Recently I was demonstrating a Microsoft Power Apps solution and I was asked what options are available for handling data in Oracle along with Power Apps. Can Oracle be migrated to Power Apps and Dataverse? Can Power Apps access data stored in Oracle?  Can I use Power Apps to replace Oracle Forms? Like Oracle, Power Apps offers both a front end user interface and a database (Dataverse).  This post introduces some options on how Oracle data can fit with Power Apps as well as some migration paths to get to Power Apps from Oracle. Microsoft offers a Power Apps connector for Oracle   First, a reminder that there are two kinds of Power Apps: model-driven apps and canvas apps . Model driven apps store their data in Dataverse, the repository used by Power Apps and Dynamics 365 apps such as Sales, Marketing, Customer Service and others. Model-driven apps give a more complete low code environment for solution development, and are tightly integrated with the Microsoft Cloud. There is no option t

Welcoming Wen-GAGE to the Sylogist Corporate Family

  In March 2021, InfoStrat’s parent company Sylogist acquired Municipal Accounting Systems Inc. (MAS) , a provider of student information systems and accounting solutions to K-12 public school districts. MAS was founded in 1985 and has grown to serve nearly 85% of the Oklahoma K-12 public education market with its integrated Wen-GAGE platform. This SaaS solution includes budgeting and accounting, a student portal, comprehensive student information tracking, grading and scheduling, and lunchroom administration. Wen-GAGE expands our company’s offering and customer base in K-12 dramatically, and we are excited to bring these products to other states.  

Using Analytics Software to Ask Different Questions

Analytics is one of the fastest growing categories of software.  Sales of products like Microsoft Power BI, Tableau, Qlik and Splunk are growing rapidly and analytics is being placed in the hands of more users than ever before.  Analytics tools make it easier to visualize and understand your data, but there is still plenty of work for us as analytics end users.  Now that we have analytics, what can we do with them?  Here are some approaches that may help you harness analytics for your business or research. Learn from others . Like writing an original song, a good place to seek inspiration is by learning the works of others. Check out reports in your industry and other industries to get ideas on new analytic approaches.  COVID-19 provided a great opportunity for analytics, especially geographic representations of case and mortality data.  You can view sources like the Johns Hopkins COVID map https://coronavirus.jhu.edu/map.html or the informationisbeautiful visualizations https://inform

Microsoft 365 for Nonprofits: Software Grants

Microsoft makes it easy for nonprofits to get the software they need for office productivity through grants of Microsoft 365 to eligible organizations.   Microsoft 365 is a suite which includes Windows and Office 365.  It is available in Basic, Standard, and Premium editions which contain different products: Microsoft 365 Business Basic -- Free up to 300 users Microsoft 365 Business Standard -- $3/user/mo. Microsoft 365 Business Premium -- Free up to 10 users and $5/user/mo.  You can begin the eligibility process to show that your organization meets all five of these criteria: Organization muts be a nonprofit or non-governmental organization Mission must benefit the local community Users must meet eligible categories Meet license restrictions Meet Microsoft non-discrimination qualifications Combined with the Microsoft Nonprofit Cloud that I have discussed in other posts, this offer means that Microsoft provides a broad suite of products at no or low cost. 

Microsoft Power Apps Community Plan

  If you follow this blog or have attended any webinars or other events where I present, you know that Microsoft Power Apps is growing like gangbusters and that many people are turning to Power Apps for their line of business solutions. But where should you start?  For some organizations, the best way is to choose a Dynamics 365 app such as Dynamics 365 Sales Enterprise or Customer Service and roll it out for your organization.  These off-the-shelf apps are built on Power Apps but are fully functional from the start.  You can learn Power Apps by configuring and customizing them with your own new tables, fields, workflows and reports. This is the best scenario when you have a business need that maps closely to one of these apps. Another way to start is to build a custom Power App from the group up, either as a canvas app or model-driven app.  You can purchase Power Apps for all the users who need these apps and start with one which is simple enough to build quickly. You can also start l