Rails 6 will be released with a new convenient method on ActiveRecord pick. This method picks the first result value(s) from a ActiveRecord relation.
Person.all.pick(:name) # SELECT people.name FROM people LIMIT 1 # => 'John' Person.all.pick(:name, :email) # SELECT people.name, people.email FROM people LIMIT 1 # => ['John', 'firstname.lastname@example.org']
pick(:name) is basically equivalent to
Watch out for rails inconsistencies as
pick(:name) returns a single string value and
pick(:name, :email) returns an array of values.