Import relationships

Add relationships to Beacon in bulk

Updated over a week ago

Beacon makes it easy to import relationships in bulk, so that you don't have to add them each manually.

Unlike other imports in Beacon, you will only be able to import relationships in a set format, using our core relationships import template. To run your import, you will need to transfer your relationship data into our template ready for upload.

Formatting your CSV

For person to person relationships, think of the spreadsheet columns reading as:

"B is the [relationship] of A"
"Chris is the Parent of David"

For person to organisation relationships, think of the spreadsheet columns reading as:

"B has A as a [relationship]"
"The Beacon Foundation has Luke as a Trustee"

The 'Person' column (required)

This column must be populated with the identifier or reference for the Person this relationship is for. You can use an email address, URL, short text, or number field, but all rows must use the same field. Whichever value you choose must match an identifier or reference you have for that Person that already exists in Beacon.

In the example above, we can see that the 'email address' has been used.

Note: you cannot use 'name' as the identifier or reference for People.

The 'Person/Organisation' column (required)

This column is for the second Person or Organisation in this relationship. For a Person, use the same identifier or reference as in the first column. For an Organisation, you can choose a different identifier as long as all rows that reference an Organisation use the same field.

In the example above we can see that where the relationship is between two People, both column A and column B use an 'email address' to identify the People in Beacon that this relationship is for. Where the relationship is between a Person and an Organisation, column A uses an 'email address' to identify the Person and column B uses the 'name' to identify the Organisation.

The 'Relationship' column (required)

The relationship type defined in your spreadsheet must exist in Beacon. Prior to import, ensure that an admin has created any new relationship types in Beacon that you want to import.

The 'Notes' column (optional)

Any details or descriptions about the relationship.

The 'Start date' column (optional)

Some relationships in Beacon can expire, for example a relationship between colleagues. Define the date that this relationship began if known.

If you are including a start date for a relationship, you must consider the following:

  1. the relationship that you are importing is set in Beacon as one that 'Can expire'.

  2. the date is in the past.

  3. the date is provided in a date format that we support.

The 'Current' column (optional)

If the relationship you are importing is a current one (i.e the relationship can expire in Beacon, but does not yet have an 'end date'), this column must either say 'yes' or be left blank. If the relationship has expired, and the relationship can expire in Beacon, and if there is an 'end date') this column must say 'no'.

Note: If you do not confirm that the relationship has expired by putting 'no' in this column, the importer will ignore the value in the 'End date' column. The relationship will be imported with a 'Start date' only and will appear as any other current relationship.

The 'End date' column (optional)

As with the 'Start date' column, this column should only be used when a relationship in Beacon can expire. If this relationship has ended, put its end date in this column. You must consider the following:

  1. the relationship that you are importing is set in Beacon as one that 'Can expire'.

  2. the date is in the past.

  3. the date is provided in a date format that we support.

Since relationships between People are always reciprocal, Beacon will use the relationship type provided in your CSV and the settings in Settings > Relationships in Beacon to determine the reciprocal that is created.

For example:

  • When the Alexa β†’ Lauren 'colleague' relationship is created, Beacon will also create the reciprocal Lauren β†’ Alexa 'colleague' relationship.

  • When the David β†’ Chris 'parent' relationship is created, Beacon will also create the reciprocal Chris β†’ David 'child' relationship.

The reciprocal relationship does not need to be included in the spreadsheet.

Relationship examples:

A parent/child relationship

In this example, Chris is the parent of David (therefore David is also the child of Chris).

This relationship doesn't expire, so the last three columns are left blank.

A previous partner

In this example, Alexa is the partner of Lauren (therefore Lauren is also the partner of Alexa).

This relationship has ended, but we don't have any information about when it started or ended. Columns E and G have been left blank, but the 'Current' column must still be populated.

A former trustee

In this example, The Beacon Foundation has Luke as a Trustee (therefore Luke is also a trustee of The Beacon Foundation)

We know when this relationship started and ended, so columns E, F and G are all populated.


Running your import

  1. First, transfer your relationships data into the standard template.

  2. Next, head to your sidebar and click Import data > Run import. Select the 'Relationships' template from the drop-down list.

  3. Define your 'Relationship settings'

    In your template, you will be asked to choose a 'matching' value ('Person field' and 'Organisation field') for both People and Organisations. The importer will use those values to find the record in Beacon for which the relationship is being created.

    Tip: To import relationships to Beacon, the People or Organisations that you are importing those relationships for must already exist in Beacon. The importer will ignore any rows in your spreadsheet where the unique identifying value does not match an existing record in Beacon.

    For example:

    In the CSV above, for rows one and two, where the relationship is between two People, the values in the first two columns are email addresses. This is because we have chosen the 'email' field as the matching value for people.

    In the third row, where the relationship is between a Person and an Organisation, the second column contains the Organisation's name instead of an email address. This is because we have chosen 'name' as the matching value for Organisations.

  4. Upload your CSV and hit 'run import'

  5. That's it! You've imported your Relationships and will be able to view them from the 'Relationships' tab of the People record.

Frequently asked questions

One of the relationships from my CSV has not been imported - why is that?

There are three main reasons why a relationship from your spreadsheet hasn't made it into Beacon:

  1. That relationship already exists in Beacon.

    If the relationship already exists in Beacon (the combination of Person, Person/Organisation and relationship is not unique) then it will be ignored and the import will carry on without it.

  2. The relationship appears twice in your spreadsheet.

    If the combination of Person, Person/Organisation and relationship appears multiple times in your spreadsheet, the import will create the first and ignore any subsequent instances of that relationship.

  3. The Person or Organisation in your spreadsheet does not exist in Beacon.

    Relationships can only be imported after the People and Organisations in those relationships have been imported to Beacon. If the importer finds no matching value in Beacon, the row will be skipped and the relationship will not be imported. This import will not create People or Organisation records.

My People to Organisation relationships have not imported correctly - why?

When importing People to Organisation relationships, you must ensure that the Organisation's value (e.g name, email) is in the second column of your spreadsheet; the 'Person/Organisation' column.

If you put the Organisation in column one, the relationship will not be imported.

Why has a relationship been created for the wrong person in Beacon?

The importer creates relationships for the Person or Organisation using the matching values set in your import settings. For example, if there are multiple People in Beacon that share the same email address, and you set the Person's 'email' as the matching value for the import, all of those people will be created that relationship.

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