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Breaking Down the Admin Tab on Your Beacon™ Site

by Ryan on September 11, 2014

In my continuing series to discuss Beacon™ features, the administration tab seems to be another feature that is heavily under-utilized for the County.  Utilizing the account management module that is provided with most Beacon™ sites, the internal user can manage roles, viewership, and updated events on their Beacon™ site.  In this entry, I will be breaking down some basic functionality of the administration tab in Beacon™.  In Schneider Geospatial’s annual Certified Beacon™ Administrator Class, everything is broken down into more detail.
Commonly referred to as “account management,” the admin tab feature allows a County/City employee to have control over their own site.  Located in the upper right hand corner, the tab will display if you are logged in as the administrator.  Each organization receives an administrator user name to manage their site when they have Beacon™. 
Users Button
The first button is the “users” button.  If the organization has the “account management” module, the admin can create unlimited user roles.  In the case of subscriptions, this is the area where these are managed and contact information can be stored. 

Roles Button
Under the “roles” button, this is where you can create categories such as: Appraiser, Internal, Public, Board Members, and Highway Department.  Once these roles are created, each person/username is assigned a role.  This role controls the viewership. 

Permissions Button
The "permissions" button is about specific layers that are viewable or not.  There are often certain times of the year that some GIS layers need to be displayed such as polling places, yet after an election the GIS layer may become irrelevant to the common user. 

Stats Button
The “stats” button is my favorite feature.  I am a big stat geek and love to create charts to show website activity.  As long as you have Excel, you can also make some simple line graphs to show the statistics visually.  Within the stats button, there are multiple tabs for visitor activity, trends, or even page views of the site broken down by the hour. 

Site Options Button
The last button is “site options” and can potentially be the most important.  This button manages what your public viewers see from announcements, disclaimers, and info pane.  The announcements can be controlled to only post for a certain time period.  Disclaimers are customizable to allow for changes if your legal requires quick adjustments to the site.  The info pane displays contact information of County Staff.  The nice thing is, this can be completely customizable to your liking.  I always like to make the joke that all board members can display their contact information to make it easier for citizens to contact them.
The administration tab is one of those features that if fully utilized can greatly enhance the user experience for internal, external, or subscription users.  Beacon’s ability to allow for local control of the site by clicking a few buttons is what separates it from other web portal organization sites.