Exporting data

Updated a year ago

Fozzie Kermit

We’ve looked at how to get data into Beacon - and now we’re going to chat about how to report on that data, now it’s in place!

There are a few different ways to do this - our Exporting functionality is wonderfully flexible and you can do all sorts of clever things with it - which we’ll have a look at now.

link Video instructions:

link Written instructions:

  1. Firstly, the most basic thing you can do is head to your People record view. Select all, and then in the three dot menu, choose Export PeopleExport People You’ll then see the “Export” pop-up. Click into the dropdown and select “All Fields”. Then, click “Start Export”!Screenshot 2021-06-10 at 09.15.15

  2. Download, then open the CSV (you can open it in Google Sheets, Excel, or whatever spreadsheet product you use!), and take a look. You’ll see that this CSV is loaded with every single field you had on your ‘Person’ records. So, it’s a really handy report if you want to see all of the specific information on one record type in one place, but generally this isn’t likely to be something that you’ll be using all that often.

  3. So, maybe you want a report that’s a little more tailored and has a little more specific information in it. Head to your ‘People’ record view again - but before we go to the exports, we’re going to take a look at the Columns you can see here.Screenshot 2021-06-10 at 09.20.05 Have a play around - remove some columns from view and add some in. Then, follow the steps we did earlier - select all, choose ‘Export People’ from the dropdown, and then click into the dropdown that appears on the ‘Export’ pop up. Instead of ‘All Fields’ that we chose before, leave it on ‘Visible Fields’, and click ‘Start Export’. Screenshot 2021-06-10 at 09.22.42Take a look at the spreadsheet, and you’ll see that this export has pulled all fields that were visible on the record view - so this is a handy one to use if you just want to grab specific information about a record quickly.
  4. Let’s think about a payment report. You’ll want to pull specific bits of information from the Payment record type, such as Amount, Payment Date, and Payment Type. Thinking about it though, you’ll probably want some information on who made the payment. So, you might want the Payer Name, as well as the Payer’s Email Address maybe? Then, it’d be good to know if this Payment was made as part of a Campaign - so you’ll want to include the Campaign name. Oh, and before I forget, you may want to see if this payment was for an Event - so we’ll want the Event name on here too. So, after a few seconds of thought, we’ve ended up with a template that is going to require information from:Screenshot 2021-06-09 at 15.32.46 So clearly what we’ve been doing so far won’t work - as we’re going to want to pull information from all over Beacon in order to pull this report for you (aren’t you demanding!) Come with me, as we take a leap into the world of Export Templates…

  5. On the left-hand menu, scroll down to ‘Export Data’. Click it, and then go to ‘Manage Templates’Screenshot 2021-06-10 at 09.26.31 In Export Templates, you can set up Templates for all of the different reports you’re going to need. If you’ve done the session on Importing Data already, then you’ll likely recognise this area, as it looks very familiar to the Import Templates section! Head to ‘Create Template’, and let’s get started.

  6. Much like with ‘Import Templates’, you’ll want to give your Template a name, and to choose the record type that you’ll be seeking the most information from. In this example, we want to gather information from Payments, and the People who made them - so select ‘Payments’ as the record type. Screenshot 2021-06-10 at 09.29.16 Once you’ve clicked Create, you’ll be taken to the Template page.

  7. Columns are the pieces of information that will be featured in your export. By default, you’ll be able to choose columns that pertain to the record type you’ve chosen to be the basis of this report. So, in this example, we'll add in Columns showing Amount, Payment Date, and Payment TypeScreenshot 2021-06-10 at 09.41.07

  8. Now, we want to gather some information relating to the people who made these payments - and this is information that will be stored on the People record type rather than the Payment record type. So, we’re going to add in a new column, but on the first dropdown, Record Type, I’m going to select Person rather than payment. Here I’m going to add in Columns showing Name (Full), and Email.Screenshot 2021-06-10 at 09.49.05

  9. We’ve looked at the Record Type and Field dropdowns, but it’s worth having a quick look at the Column dropdown that appears on the right, titled Column Heading. You can type in here and update the names of the columns that will appear on your spreadsheet if you like - it’s a handy way to make sure your exports are easily understandable for those you’re sending them to, without having to change any of the data in Beacon. Screenshot 2021-06-10 at 09.51.32 So, we’ve established exactly what pieces of information we want - so let’s scroll down to Filter Types.

  10. Filter Types define how your export will be run. If you choose to stick with Dynamic filters, then this report will be run from the Record Type page. If you go with a Fixed filter, your report will be run from the Run Export page. Screenshot 2021-06-10 at 10.16.49 Dynamic filters are really handy for reports that you may want to run on various groups of people. So, if I chose a Dynamic Filter for this template that I’ve just created, I could go to the Payment record type, filter to see all payments over a certain amount, and then run the report from the dropdown menu. Alternatively, Fixed filters are good for reports you may want to run on a regular basis, around very specific criteria. So, you could set a filter to only show payments from the ‘last 90 days’, for example, and run this whenever necessary (from the Run Export page) to get a report that will only show payments from the 90 days prior to you running the report.

  11. Now we’ve had a look at Filters, scroll down to Emails. If you click the toggle, you can enter the email addresses of people who you’d like this report sent to every time you run it. Whenever you run the Export template, Beacon will then prompt you to send those people the report, straight from Beacon. How good is that! You can also customise the email body to be in keeping with your organisation’s tone of voice. Screenshot 2021-06-10 at 10.20.22

  12. The last thing to note on these, is that you don’t just have to do reports as CSV’s! If you want formal, non-editable reports that are branded up with your organisation’s logo, then Beacon has you covered… Scroll up towards the top of the page and change the File format from CSV to PDF. Scroll down again, and you’ll see that a new card called PDF options has appeared. Screenshot 2021-06-10 at 10.26.28 Here you can change the orientation of your finished report, upload a logo, add a description, and, if required, choose how your PDF will be sorted. Why not give it a go? When done, head to ‘Run Export’ and run your report - doesn’t it look good!

    Well done- you’ve made your first steps into the wonderful world of export templates!

simply the best

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