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Defining relationships between people
Defining relationships between people

Beacon lets you define and configure how people relate to other people and organisations in your database.

Updated over a week ago

Beacon makes it easy to define custom connections between people and organisations in your database. Relationships always create the reciprocal relationship too, such as adding a Parent relationship for the other person when you add a Child one.

When should I use the relationships feature?

Relationships in Beacon are designed as a great way to easily see the relationships that a single Person or Organisations has with others. You'll be able to see current and past relationships, various details about them, and click through to those records.

The relationships, being stored in quite a different way to data in fields, aren't best suited for where you want to be able to use that data in bulk such as filtering or manipulating that information, as relationships aren't filterable (e.g. "Show me all people with siblings") nor exportable.

Managing your relationship types

Note: Relationship types can only be created or updated by Beacon admins.

The relationships settings page shows you all of the relationship types that have been set up for your organisation. Head to Settings > Relationships to configure them.

As standard, your Beacon account comes with the following people to people relationships:

  • Acquaintance

  • Colleague

  • Parent / Child

  • Partner

  • Sibling

It also comes with the following people to organisation relationships:

  • Employee

  • Trustee

You can click on a relationship to edit it.

Creating a new relationship

Note: Relationship types can only be created by Beacon admins.

You can create a new relationship by clicking the 'Create relationship' button in the top right of the relationships settings page.

There are two types of relationships you can define

  1. Relationships from a person to another person

  2. Relationships from a person to an organisation

Relationships between people can also include a 'reciprocal relationship'. The reciprocal relationship describes the complimentary and opposite relationship to the one you're creating. For example the reciprocal of a Parent relationship would be Child.

You should decide if your relationship should have a reciprocal relationship when creating the relationship. Once created you will not be able to add or remove a reciprocal.

Every relationship you define, including its reciprocal, must include a unique name and its plural. The name will be used by your team when choosing the relationship they want to set between two people or a person and an organisation.

Relationships that expire

Note: Once active, the 'Can expire' toggle can't be turned off

Relationships that can expire will have the following extra information available to be set:

  • When the relationship started

  • When the relationship ended

  • A toggle which indicates whether the relationship is in the past or not

The Relationships tab

The relationships tab is a configurable view where you can view, add and edit relationships between people and organisations. The relationships tab is only available on people records. You can add new cards to the tab and pick which relationships they should show.

For relationships between people, the card will display the relationship from the perspective of the person whose record you are viewing. For example, if we're looking at David's record and we create a relationship with Chris of type 'Parent', then we're saying that Chris is David's parent.

All listed relationships are from the perspective of the person's record.

This is different for organisations. All organisations show that person's relationship to the organisation (e.g. Employee, Trustee).

Relationship cards

Relationship cards show a list of all relationships that the card is configured to show. You can view and hide past relationships by toggling the show past relationships button at the bottom of the card.

Clicking an item in the card will take you through to that record in Beacon. If you have access to edit people and organisation you will also be able to edit the relationships by clicking the pencil icon at the end of each item. In the edit relationship dialog you can add and change notes. If the relationship is allowed to expire you will also be able to configure the start and end date of the relationship and whether the relationship is in the past or not.

Creating a Relationship card

Note: Relationship cards can only be created by Beacon admins.

To create a new relationship card first make sure you are customising the record. Once in customisation mode you will be able to add a new card to the relationships tab by clicking the Add Card button from the bottom of the list of cards.

From here give your card a title and icon (these will appear at the top of the card). You should then choose which relationships you would like Beacon to show in the card.

A card can also be edited or removed by clicking any existing card while customising a record.

Adding relationships to a card

Note: Relationships can be added to cards by users who have edit access to people and organisations

To add a new relationship to a card click the plus button in the top right of the card.

From this dialog you will first have to choose the type of relationship you are adding. With the relationship type chosen you can select the person or organisation that the relationship is with. Additionally you can add some notes about the relationship.

If the selected relationship is configured so that it can expire then you can choose whether or not this is a past relationship. You can also set a start and end date on the relationship. End dates can only be set on past relationships. Both start and end dates must be in the past.

Relationship audit logs

From the timelines tab on a person record you will be able to see audit logs relating to the creation, modification or removal of relationships relating to that person.

Like other audit logs you can show or hide them by toggling the Audit logs timeline filter.

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