Smart tags

Create cross-module, auto-updating Tags based on contacts meeting qualifying conditions.

In this article

Introduction
How to create a Smart Tag
Smart Tag conditions
Inverse conditions i.e. "Not"
Condition batches
More powerful searches with Regular Expressions
Communicating with contacts in a Smart Tag
Summary of module conditions - Address Book (Adults)
Summary of module conditions - Children module
Summary of module conditions - Giving module

Introduction

With Smart Tags we've re-imagined the way you can ask questions of your data of and organise your contacts to extract useful information from your data. While our Fixed Tags are a defined group of contacts that remain unchanged over time (unless a user adds/removes contacts to the tag) , Smart Tags automatically update based on contacts that match the qualifying Tag conditions. Importantly Smart Tags work across multiple modules, allowing you to build very complex data queries in a very simple way, extracting data across multiple modules to get the right answers to your questions. So with Smart Tags, rather than thinking in terms of a group of contact names, think of groups of conditions to match e.g. tell me who meets (or doesn't meet) the conditions.

For example, you're organising a men's event and you need to know the names of all the Dads aged between 30 and 45, who are not a member of any small group but who all live in a similar geographic postcode area. It's simple with Smart Tags...

Want to tighten your student integration by viewing a list of students who are either not yet in a small group or not serving? Again, this is simple with Smart Tags! And once a student does begin to serve on a team, because they cease to satisfy the Tag conditions they'll no longer be returned in the Tag results.

When do Smart Tags update and how often?

Smart Tags are updated dynamically whenever the underlying data affecting any of the Tag conditions changes (e.g. a new Key Date added, a change in marital status, someone joins a small group, etc.), and again every night (to cater for changes in age). They are refreshed when a specific Smart Tag page is viewed, and if the Tag conditions are edited and the page is saved.

How to create a Smart Tag

Creating a Smart Tag is really easy. Smart Tags exist in the Address Book, Children and Giving modules. The principles to create a Smart Tag are the same in each case. Let's consider a Smart Tag in the Address Book module.

Go to 'Address Book' (or 'Children' or 'Giving') > 'Tags' > 'Add tag'. From here you'll be able to select between creating a Fixed or Smart Tag. Selecting the 'Smart Tag' option will display the 'Smart Tag Conditions' section.

Tags can optionally be colour-coded, perhaps to categorise or group certain types of Tags. You can also restrict the visibility of Tag to particular User Groups or just yourself. By default, Tags are visible to all users. For multi-site churches, Tags that use the "Site" condition are only visible to users viewing as "All Sites".

Please note that a log is not currently maintained for the date a contact is assigned to a tag or removed from a tag. If your workflow requires reporting these types of changes within a range of dates, you might consider assigning a Key Dates for those significant Tag changes so that you can report changes matching within a Key Date range.

Warning - before you delete a User Group!

Before deleting a User Group, consider whether any Notes, Tags or Flows have their visibility restricted to just that User Group. If you proceed with deleting the User Group, no users or administrators will be able to view those tags, notes or flows - they will be hidden from view. This is intentional in order to respect the original visibility restrictions that were intended to ensure privacy of those items.

Before deleting a User Group, update the visibility restrictions of your Notes, Tags and Flows - either to "All Users", "Just me" or to an alternative User Group; then proceed with the group deletion.

Once a User Group is deleted, only the ChurchSuite support team can restore the visibility of those hidden tags/notes/flows.

Smart Tag Conditions

To utilise Smart Tags to their full potential it may be helpful to first understand the difference between Conditions and Batches.

Conditions are the building blocks of Smart Tags. They establish the parameters, or criteria, that determine the matching results returned by the Tag. The conditions available depend on whether you are creating a Smart Tag in the Address Book, the Children module or the Giving module, and so we will deal with each in turn.

1) Address Book module Smart Tags

In the Address Book module you'll have the option to set conditions from across multiple modules (this depends on the modules enabled on your ChurchSuite account and the permissions of the User creating the Tag). Smart Tags work across the following modules: Address Book. Administrator, Giving, Rotas and Small Groups. (Note: To create or edit Tags that reference the Giving module you must have permissions to access to the Giving module.)

Choosing or changing the condition's Module from the drop-down menu determines the module-specific fields that you can select from in the drop-down "Options" menu. By selecting each module in turn you can easily see all the module-specific options available to inquire of your data. A full list of module conditions are provided at the end of this article.

Then, depending on the field 'Option' chosen, you can specify the discreet data or range of values for that Option. For example, creating a condition using the Address Book Module and 'Age' option, allows you to specify a minimum and maximum range of ages in years. Whereas a condition matching on 'Sex' allows you to specify a discreet value for either Male of Female.

2) Children module Smart Tags

In the Children module you again have the option to create conditions on data from across multiple modules. These modules are: the Children Module, the Rotas Module and the Small Groups module. Like Smart Tags in the adult Address Book module, selecting a module from the drop-down menu brings up the related Options available. A full list of module field conditions is provided at the end of this support article. Again, the 'Value' will be either a discreet data field or a range of values, depending on the module field Option selected.

3) Giving module Smart Tags

Within the Giving module, Smart Tags can only be created to enquire within the Giving module, and the results returned is a list of matching givers. If you have cross-modular data enquiries to make, you should create your Giving module Tag first, and then work from the Address Book module Smart Tags, and reference your Giving module Smart Tag using the Giving module > 'In Tag' condition; however, the Tag results will only return matched Address Book contacts who have a linked Giver profile. A full list of Giving module field conditions is provided at the end of this support article.

Note

It is not possible to create a Smart Tag that shows results from both the Address Book and Children modules in the same Tag. For safeguarding, and because not all users have access to the Children module, throughout ChurchSuite, children contacts are maintained separately from adults. For example, to see the full picture of all contacts who match certain criteria, you may need to create the Smart Tag in both the Address Book and Children modules in order to see the respective matched results from each module. This is intended functionality.

Multi-site churches

For multi-site enabled churches, there is a "Site" condition that can be used in Smart Tags. Due to logic constraints, this condition can only be used when the user is viewing as "All Sites". See example below, which matches Males in Main Site and South Site only.

Multi-site Smart Tags are distinguished by a 'Site" icon on the Tag page.

Users who do not have "All Sites" permissions will not be able to see multi-site Tags in the Tag list or be able to view the Tag results. Similarly, if a user is viewing as a particular Site, they will not be able to see multi-site Tags in the Tag list or be able to view the Tag result. Only when viewing as "All Sites" will this Tag and its results be visible.

Inverse Conditions

As with Fixed Tags, you have the option to create inverse conditions in Smart Tags. By clicking to change the green tick to the red cross, you can create a inverse conditions that return results of people not meeting a condition. For example, a red cross againsta condition for Small Group > In Group > All Groups will return all the people NOT in any Small Group. Smart Tags can contain combinations of both inclusive (green tick) or inverse (red tick) conditions and there's no limit on the number of conditions you can set for your Smart Tag.

Condition Batches

A Condition Batch is an ordered grouping of conditions. A Batch allows you to deal with all related conditions contained within the batch and apply the conditions as a group; either with the batch matching any conditions or all conditions. Condition Batches set as "all" are cumulative and generally produce more restricted results as each extra condition in the batch is applied. Conversely, Condition Batches set as "any" generally produce more inclusive results with each extra condition. Consider this illustration: a Condition Batch with four conditions in it (say, Sex: male, Age: 30-45, Marital Status: married and Key Date: baptism); selecting 'ANY' for the Batch would populate the Tag with all contact who matches ANY one of those conditions. However, changing this Batch Condition to ALL would clearly return a much smaller population of results.

You can have multiple Batches in a single Smart Tag, with each batch matching either ANY or ALL. The, for each additional batch of conditions you add, you can specify the relationship between that batch and the previous batch ( AND/OR), allowing you to build complex data inquiries very simply.

Again. selecting an "AND" relationship between batches will generally provide more exclusive results and a smaller population return from the Tag; whereas an "OR" relationship between batches will generally be more inclusive and result in a larger population result returned.

To give an example of this in practice, you might have two batches, each with two Conditions in them and each set to 'ALL' within the batch. Batch 1 has the conditions Age: 30-45 and Gender: Male. Batch 2 has the conditions Small Groups: In Group and Key Date: baptism. If you selected to make the relationship between the batches as 'AND' then the Tag would only consist of those who meet all 4 conditions (probably a small population). If you selected to make the relationship between the batches as 'OR' then the Tag would return all those who are either Male and between 30 and 45, OR all those who are in a small group and have been baptised (probably a larger population by contrast).

It's important to note that the order of Batches is important. Any time you set the relationship between batches as 'AND' the batch will connect to the previous batch (cumulative). Every time you introduce an 'OR' relationship between batches, a new 'group' is started, and any subsequent 'AND' batches will connect to that 'OR' batch until a relationship change is introduced again. The example above shows how the order of the batches determines how they relate to each other, and how they're grouped (blue dotted lines added for emphasis) when a connecting relationship change is introduced in your Tag . To change the order of a batch simply click the up or down arrows on each batch.

Finally, to get you started, like Flows, we've provided some example Smart Tags that you can easily create in your own account, simply by selecting them from the list.

More powerful searches with Regular Expressions

Regular Expressions (RegEx) are a form of SQL syntax that many programmers and developers will already be familiar with. In its simplest form, using certain syntax expressions, you can perform complex "wildcard" matches against the data in certain text fields in your data (custom fields and postcode fields in particular).

We've provided four simple RegEx functions - Is..., Contains..., Starts With..., and Ends With... For each of these functions you can simply enter a string value (not in quotes) to match. "Is" will match exactly, whereas the other three conditions match less specifically. For the advanced user, we've also provided a fifth function, Regular Expression. The RegEx syntax should be added as plain text and not enclosed in quotes.

For churches that are unfamiliar with RegEx, the ChurchSuite team are happy to provide guidance on what syntax is required to match a particular search you are trying to achieve. Consider the following examples:

  • ^B[1-9]{1}[[:space:]] would match any postcode that starts with the letter B, followed by a single digit 0-9 and then the space character. For example: B1 1AA, B3 7BB and B9 9GG would all be matched, but B12 1BB would not.
  • ^B1[2-4]{1}[[:space:]] would match any postcode that starts with B1, followed by a single digit 2-4 and then the space character. For example: B12, B13 or B14.
  • ^B[0-9]{1,2} would match any postcode that starts with the letter B, followed by either 1 or 2 digits in the 0-9 range. For example: any B1-B99.

Top Tip!

A great use of Regular Expressions is when you want to identify contacts that match a full postcode within a certain radius of a central point on a map. This too is easily achievable, but requires a little more work to construct the Tag. Here's how...

Begin by using a tool like this one found here, which enables you to define a central postcode point on a map and set a radius around that point. The tool then builds a list of all matching postcodes within that radius - and they're full postcodes, which is really helpful for ensuring your Smart Tag produces more accurate results.

From that tool, copy and paste the comma-separated list of matching postcodes into a text editor like Microsoft Word. Using the "Find and Replace" feature, find and replace all commas with the "|" (pipe) character. Now, back in ChurchSuite, add a Smart Tag condition as follows: -

  • Module: Address Book
  • Option: Postcode
  • Value: Regular Expression

In the Regular Expression text box type the word "In", followed by a space, and then copy and paste in your pipe-separated list of postcodes from your text editor.

Save the Tag and voila! - A Smart Tag that matches all contacts in your database who live within a radius of your specified central point with exact postcode matching.

Communicating with contacts in a Smart Tag

You can communicate with contacts in a Tag in a couple of ways...

Either, go to "Address Book" > "Communication". In section 1) "Select the contacts you wish to communicate with", type tag: to switch the list from "contacts" to "tags"...

...or switch the list from "Contacts" to Tags" using the drop-down selector.

Then, scroll to the bottom of the Communication page where you have a choice of how you want to communicate with them in the usual way (e.g. send a text, email, etc.).

Or, in Tag View of any Smart Tag, communicate directly by using the "Communicate" drop-down button.

Summary of Smart Tag Conditions

Address Book Smart Tags
Module Option Value
Address Book Date added All time, date range or custom date range

Age (in years) Range (Min - Max)
Sex Male or Female or Unknown
Has Date of Birth Yes or No
Is Parent? No, Yes-any, Yes-parent, Yes-aunt/uncle,
Yes-grandparent, Yes-guardian, Yes-other
Marital Status Unspecified or specified
Address 1 Regular expressions
Postcode (Zip code) Regular expressions
Country Regular expressions
Email Regular expressions
Mobile Regular expressions
Telephone Regular expressions
Work Telephone Regular expressions
Site Explicit site name form list
Is Student?
Yes or No
[Student] University Regular expressions
[Student] Course Regular expressions
[Student course] Start Year Year from/to e.g. 2016 to 2018
[Student course] End Year Year from/to e.g. 2016 to 2018
Receive Email? Yes or No
Receive SMS? Yes or No
Name is Visible? Yes or No
Address is Visible? Yes or No
Email is Visible? Yes or No
Mobile is Visible? Yes or No
Telephone is Visible? Yes or No
In tag Any Tag or specified Tag
Has key date Any Key Date or specified Key Date
In key date (range of dates) All time, date range or custom date range
In flow Any Flow or specified Flow
Custom Fields 1-10 Regular expressions
Invited to My ChurchSuite? Yes or No
Last logged in to My ChurchSuite Never, or range of preset dates
Administrator User type is... Any user type, Administrator or User
In User Group Specified user group
Children [Parent with linked] Child age (in years) Range (Min - Max)
[Parent with linked] Child sex Male or Female or Unknown
[Parent with linked] Child in school Select school from drop-down list
[Parent with linked] Child in school year Select year from drop-down list
[Parent with linked] Child in gathering Specified gathering
[Parent with linked] Child in group Specified group
Giving (Donated) In the last Specified date range
Is a giver Yes or No
In tag Specified tag
Rotas In active ministry Any ministry, or specified ministry
In archived ministry Any ministry, or specified ministry
Is ministry overseer Any ministry, or specified ministry
In ministry role Specified role (within a ministry)
Small Groups In cluster Specified cluster
Is cluster overseer Specified cluster
In cluster [and] role Specified cluster and group role
In active group Any group, or specified group
In future group Any group, or specified group
In group [and] role Any group, or specified group and group role
In active role Specified role (within a group)
In archived role Specified role (within a group)
In future role Specified role (within a group)
Custom fields 1-10 Regular expressions
In tag Specified tag
In tag [and] role Specified tag and group role
Children module Smart Tags
Module Option Value
Children Date added All time, date range or custom date range

Age (in years) Range (Min - Max)
Sex Male or Female or Unknown
Site Explicit site name from list
Has linked parent Yes or No
Receive email? Yes or No
Receive SMS? Yes or No
In school Specified school from list
In school year Specified year from list
In gathering Specified gathering from list
In group Specified group from list
In tag Any Tag or specified Tag
Has key date Any Key Date or specified Key Date
In key date (range of dates) All time, date range or custom date range
Custom fields 1-10 Regular expressions
Rotas In active ministry Any ministry, or specified ministry
In archived ministry Any ministry, or specified ministry
In ministry role Specified role within a ministry
Small Groups In cluster Specified cluster from list
In cluster [and] role Specified cluster from list and group role
In active group Any group, or specified group
In future group Any group, or specified group
In group [and] role Any group, or specified group and group role
In active role Specified role within a group
In archived role Specified role within a group
In future role Specified role within a group
Custom fields 1-10 Regular expressions
In Tag Specified tag
In Tag [and] role Specified tag and group role
Giving module Smart Tags
Module Option Value
Giving Date [Giver] added All time, date range or custom date range

[Giver] Is couple? Yes or No
[Giver] Is linked to [Address Book] contact? Yes or No
[Giver] Country Regular expressions
[Giver] Postcode (Zip code) Regular expressions
[Giver] Site Explicit site name form list
[Donated] An amount between Min. and Max. donation amount
Donated to fund Any fund, or specific fund
Donation method Any method or specific method
[Donated] In the last X months
[Donated] Number of times Min. and Max. donation times
[Donation] Is tax deductible? Yes or No (North America only)
[Giver] Has active pledge Yes or No
[Giver] Pledges to fund Any fund, or specific fund
[Giver] Has active Gift Aid declaration Yes or No (UK only)
[Giver] Has [Gift Aid] declaration for fund Any fund, or specific fund
[Giver] In [Giving module] Tag Any Tag, or specific Tag



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