When it comes to finding the right campus recreation software solution, the selection process can seem a bit daunting. To aid in this decision-making process, below are five key features to look for when your recreation department is ready to find the right software package to increase efficiency and overall student experience.
- Integration with Best-of-Breed Systems on Campus. Make use of existing software investments by choosing campus recreation software that integrates with best-of-breed systems already on campus, such as your card system, intramural software, or accounting software. Don’t sacrifice your accounting software investment, for example, by selecting a new software solution that lacks compatibility. Select a solution that is compatible and allows you to have one integrated system that effectively manages all programs, revenues and facilities. Integrating with best-of-breed systems alleviates duplicate entries and records.
- Customizable Reports. A campus recreation software system will capture a lot of information about who is using your facility, when, where and how. Make sure that this information can be exported into a report that will help your department make informed decisions and achieve its goals. Every campus is unique in their reporting needs, and that’s why it is essential that the software package you select offers customizable reporting and data output options to meet the needs of each of your constituents. Without customized reporting options built into the software solution, the responsibility of pulling specific data relies on savvy IT departments, assuming they have specific training or Crystal licensing, for example, and this translates to a time-consuming process for IT personnel. Look for a software solution that provides you with powerful, flexible and in-depth reporting tools with multiple filters, flexible formatting, unlimited customization, mail merge, multiple export formats, and more. You’ll be able to make faster, more informed decisions and view only the information you want, when you want it.
- Hosted Internet Registration and Payment Processing Options. You’ve invested a great deal to provide quality facilities and programs to your students. Further increase student satisfaction by providing a convenient online registration process. To facilitate this initiative, consider a software provider that offers Hosted Internet Registration and Payment Processing, also known as a Software-as-a-Service model. This means that the software provider hosts and manages your data off-premise so that you don’t have to invest the time and money required if doing it yourself. Self-hosting online registration means having to invest in additional payment servers, back up servers, and setting up security and firewalls. Selecting a campus recreation software provider who offers hosted technology means low upfront costs and faster implementation.
- Integrated Payment Processing. Having a campus recreation software solution that integrates with your payment processing system means that reduced errors and paperwork. As a busy campus recreation center, it’s important to have one integrated system to avoid double-entry and reconciliation, balancing between multiple systems, ensure tighter security, and pull accurate reports. Also, with online registration and integrated payment processing, it’s important that your campus recreation software solution ensures your compliance with PCI (Payment Card Industry) and Payment Application Best Practice (PABP) standards.
- Ease of Use. Software usability is extremely important, particularly at campuses where the skills of computer users vary greatly. Consider multilingual and American Disabilities Act (ADA) compliant software to meet the existing needs of your many students. Whether it’s “customer-facing” documents to print receipts, contracts, reports and registration confirmations in a variety of languages or enabling visually-impaired or ESL users to use your software system, look for a software package that offers true ease-of-use through its accessibility options for everyone.