With Beacon, it's easy to export data from your database in the way that works for you. While you can do ad-hoc exports directly from record list pages, often you'll want to export data in a standard format that only includes the data that matters to you.
Meet export templates. You can manage your templates in your Beacon dashboard: Export data > Manage templates.
When exporting your data, you can choose either CSV or PDF as your export format.
CSV is the tried and tested format for moving data into spreadsheets and between system. If you need access to the raw data then this is the format for you.
PDF is for exporting data into a beautiful bank-statement-style file. This is often useful when presentation matters, like when you're reporting internally or to clients. Here's an example.
With export templates, you can define and label the exact columns you'd like to export:
Tip: as you have a lot more control over the columns, export templates make more columns available to you than ad-hoc exports.
Filters: fixed or dynamic?
You can define your export templates to have either "fixed" or "dynamic" filters - and they're each useful for quite different things.
Dynamic filters allow you to define a standard format for exporting a particular record type in Beacon. You can then export records directly from the record list page.
Example: you'd like to export people from the people list page that meet a wide variety of conditions, so they can be uploaded elsewhere. Each time you run the export, the filter criteria is quite different.
Fixed filters are... fixed. They don't change. You can "run" your fixed exports from the Export data > Run export page. (As opposed to record list pages)
Example: every month, you want to export all of the donations that were made last month. You don't want to define the filters each time, you just want to go and click a button to run the same export with the same set of filter criteria.