Custom User Attributes is a powerful feature that allows you to manage your users and their data in a much more efficient way. Please note that Custom Attributes is only available for Gnowbe Enterprise subscribers.
When will you need Custom Attributes?
You want to centralize (and automate) your user administration. Instead of managing user administration for each group separately, you can manage the users (add them, remove them, assign them to groups) via a centralized panel, then Custom Attributes is the way to go. To take this to the next level, you can automate this process where user data from your source system (e.g. your HRIS) can be fed directly into Gnowbe via an API, without requiring the need for an upload. So all new employees are automatically added to Gnowbe and all departing employees will automatically be removed from Gnowbe!
You need additional data fields for your users. Under the standard Gnowbe subscriptions, Gnowbe dashboard allows you to add the following standard data fields for each user only:
- First Name
- Last Name
- Email ID
- Employee ID
In case you wish to track additional data fields for your users (examples include Department, Job Title, Country, Gender, etc.) then you can do that using the Custom Attributes feature.
You can use custom attributes for any one (or both) of the above scenarios.
To get started, with Custom Attributes, you need to have Gnowbe Admin access for your organization. Next, check if you have the Custom Attributes feature turned on for your organization. You can do this easily by going to the Users tab for your organization (not the Users tab for any specific group) and seeing if you have the Integration sub-tab under the Users tab.
Adding Custom Fields
Under the 'Integration' tab, you can add your custom fields. You can add a field by clicking the 'ADD' button.
On the add screen, you'll see the following fields:
- Name - Indicates what you want the field to be called. This is the name that will appear everywhere for this field, so choose a name that is clear. For example, if you want to add Department as a field, you can choose to indicate the name as 'Department' or 'Dept'.
- Primary Key - The field that will uniquely identify all your users. No two users can have the same value for this field.
- Examples of Primary Key include ID, email, etc.
- Fields like department and job title cannot be primary keys as multiple employees can hold the same job title and can be part of the same department. Gnowbe allows you to identify any one of the below two fields as the primary key, select the one which is appropriate for your organization:
- Email - Official (business) email of a user. No two individuals can have the same email.
- Employee ID - A unique ID to identify each user, can be numeric or alphanumeric.
- Type - This indicates which category does this field falls under, valid ones being First Name, Last Name, Email, Employee ID, and Others.
- Value Type - Indicates the data type of this field, whether it's 'Text' or 'Numeric'. For alphanumeric fields, choose 'Text' type.
You'll have to repeat the process for every custom fields you require for your organization. Please also note that if you're using Custom Attributes, you don't need to add/redefine the standard fields (First Name, Last Name, Email, Employee ID), but you will need to minimally add the attribute field which will be the primary key for your organization - usually Email or Employee ID.
One major difference in the way custom attributes work is that you can add your users at the org level, rather than at the group level.
Option 1 - Adding Users at the Org Level
Decide on the various attributes you want tagged to your users and prepare a CSV file for user invitations. Your CSV file must be prepared very precisely, with the CSV file's column headers matching exactly the attributes you have added on Dashboard. For example:
- First Name
- Last Name
- Employee ID
- [Custom attribute #1]
- [Custom attribute #2]
An example of how to set up your user CSV file. Download a sample CSV file here for reference.
Once your CSV file is ready, click Upload Users and upload your CSV file.
If there is an existing CSV file, you will be prompted to select between two upload methods
- Append - Information from the new .csv file will be added to the existing .csv content.
- Overwrite - Information from the new .csv file will completely replace the existing .csv content.
Once your users have been successfully uploaded, they'll appear on your Integrations page.
To check if you have uploaded all your users successfully, click on Show Import Log. This Import Log feature allows Admins to track their user upload activities within Gnowbe Dashboard.
Setting Up Your Group Filters
This is where things get really interesting! Now, go to the Users tab of any group, and go to the Invite sub-tab. Under this sub-tab ensure that you've selected the Custom Attributes option.
Now, click +Group to add filters to define the criteria for adding users to this group.
So let's say, you only want people from the Sales department to be a part of this group, you'll need to define a filter where you specify this:
- Operator - Choose between AND or OR
- AND: All conditions must be fulfilled
- OR: At least one of the conditions must be fulfilled
- Attribute - Choose between the attributes that you added to the Dashboard.
- Comparison - Chose between =, <, >, ≤, ≥, ≠, Contains, Starts With.
- Select the appropriate symbol to describe the relationship between the Attribute and Value.
- Value - Fill in the data's name. Please type in the data precisely as how you named it in the columns of your CSV file.
Once done, the users who fulfill this criterion will be automatically added to this group. Please note that this syncing of users from the org to the group takes about 10 mins. To make the process efficient, we encourage you to define the criteria for each group before uploading your users to the org.
Option 2 - Manually Adding Users at the Group Level
What if you want custom fields and you still want to manually add users at a group level? You can absolutely do that. Open your group, go to the Users tab and Invite sub-tab, and simply select Invitations. This will allow you to add your users using invitations.
The best part is that Custom Attributes is versatile enough to let you add your users both using filters with your Custom Attributes for some groups and add users using invitations for others.
If you have added custom fields for your organization, the Custom Attribute feature allows you to extract reports which include user data for each of those fields.
Some Dos and Don'ts:
- When adding an attribute in the Integration tab, fill in the attribute's name PRECISELY as how you named it on your CSV file's column header. The fields are case-sensitive, so it has to be the same.
- Do ensure that you are clear on which filters you would like to set for each group.
- Do be clear on which invitation mode you will be using. Choose from either the Invitations mode or Custom Attributes mode.
- Ideally, try not to switch between invitation modes at the group level unnecessarily.
- When the user invitation method is changed from Invitations to Custom Attributes (or vice-versa), the existing users in the group remain, and the users invited with the new method will be added to the group. There will not be a removal of users.
- Do not remove/replace filters from a group unnecessarily. This will remove users from the group.