Standardising your exports with export templates

Updated a year ago

With Beacon, it's easy to export data from your database in the way that works for you. Whilst 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 sidebar: Export data > Manage templates.

Check out our overview of exporting data in this video:

link Format

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.

link Columns

With export templates, you can define and label the exact columns you'd like to export:

Screenshot 2019-04-04 at 20.18.18

help_outline Since you have a lot more control over the columns, export templates make more columns available to you than ad-hoc exports.

link 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.

link Dynamic filters

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.

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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.

link Fixed filters

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)

Screenshot 2019-04-04 at 20.29.09


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.

link Sending emails

Beacon makes it possible to send your exported files as attachments via email to one or more people.

link How it works

After running an export from the Run export page or from a list of records, you'll see the options to download the file, and dispatch the file as an email attachment:

Screenshot 2020-02-10 at 10.58.20

You can choose to email the file to either:

  1. Yourself (the email on your user account)
  2. A list of specific people (who don't necessarily have to be Beacon users)
  3. Email addresses set on records in your filters (more below!)

If sent, the recipients defined in the export template will receive an email similar to the below:

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The exported file will be attached to the email:

Screenshot 2020-02-10 at 11.01.02

link Configuring your emails

You can configure the recipients, sender, subject, and body in your export template settings.

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help_outline Tip: you can edit the recipients before sending, each time you run your export.

link "Passing" emails from email fields

When you're filtering based on a particular record, you can send the exported file directly to the email addresses that exist on that record.

For example, let's say you want to export a list of donations made by someone, and then to send them an email with a CSV/PDF including all of the donations.

  1. Filter to find all of the donations for the particular donor:

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  1. After running your export, you'll be able to choose that person's email in the recipients option:

Screenshot 2020-10-12 at 12.02.22

help_outline Tip: this works on any record type!

You'll also see email addresses from records pointed at by the record you're filtering from. Building on the example above:

Let's say you want to export a list of donations made by someone, and then to send their employer an email with a CSV/PDF including all of the donations. (Could be useful in a payroll giving context)

Beacon will automatically surface the email fields from their employer, for you to choose:

Screenshot 2020-10-12 at 12.13.05

help_outline If multiple emails are set in an email field, the file will be sent to all email addresses.


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