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Beacon Models Your Data (a series)

by Nichole on November 19, 2014

Did you know that the way your Beacon™ site looks is directly related to your CAMA and tax databases?  Of course you did, but each module in Beacon™ is designed around them, as well.   Each year, we receive calls asking, “Where is ___________field pulling the attribute from?" Or  “Which office’s database is used to populate the ___________ module?"  These questions are not as simple as A equals B; it is all part of the Beacon™ magic.   I can tell you that many of the customizations on each and every Beacon™ site are a direct reflection of the underlying data sources and individual requests.
 
Let’s talk about why each Beacon™ site looks different and each module, although named the same, looks a little bit different; and why your site does not look exactly like your neighbors. 
 
The summary module is the perfect module for the beginning of this discussion.  This module is, typically, the first module on Beacon’s parcel report and located at the bottom of the map tab.  The summary module provides general first glance information to get the user oriented and verify their search.  Summary answers the “what” and “where” about each parcel.  Most of the summaries include the parcel ID, legal description, property class, and photo; or many other combinations of general attributes.  The fields selected to be part of the summary are a reflection of the underlying database sources, along with the layout to answer the “what” and “where”.





 
Databases drive how the data is displayed on Beacon™ creating your unique Beacon™ site.  The most noticeable differences appear between states, because CAMA and tax database vendors tend to be state specific.  You are the other driving force behind Beacon’s unique look.  Each site administrator has requested customization for your end users, without even knowing it, a field name change or adding a field here or there.  This is what makes Beacon™ uniquely YOU!
 
Please, come back next time when we discuss Beacon’s dwelling modules.