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:
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 systems. 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.
Choose your columns
With export templates, you can define and label the exact columns you'd like to export:
Tip: Since 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.
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).
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.
Sending exports via email
Beacon makes it possible to send your exported files as attachments via email to one or more people.
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:
You can choose to email the file to either:
Yourself (the email on your user account)
A list of specific people (who don't necessarily have to be Beacon users)
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:
The exported file will be attached to the email:
Configuring your emails
You can configure the recipients, sender, subject, and body in your export template settings.
Tip: you can edit the recipients before sending, each time you run your export.
"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 a particular donor, and then send them an email with a CSV/PDF attachment of all of their donations.
Filter to find all of the donations for the particular donor:
After running your export, you'll be able to choose that person's email in the recipients option:
Tip: this works on any record type!
You'll also see email addresses from records pointed at by the record you're export 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:
Note: If multiple emails are set in an email field, the file will be sent to all email addresses.
Frequently Asked Questions
What permissions do I need to run an export?
If the roles and permissions element has been purchased, admin users can restrict access to features, records, and fields. In order to run an export, a standard user will need at least the following permissions:
Feature - Export data - Edit permission
Feature - Export templates - Read permission (if exporting using a template)
Read permission for all fields being exported
Can I schedule an export?
No, you cannot currently schedule an export from Beacon. Please let us know if this is important for you!