How to share data with other nations

Sharing data with other organizations can be a messy process. In the past, you might email someone a spreadsheet of information and hope that the critical data about supporters remains secure throughout the process. Tag sharing eliminates the hassle of exporting and importing data between nations.

Tag sharing is a relatively complicated feature that can significantly change profiles within a nation. Therefore, only nation admins can share or accept tags. Nations on the Organization, Enterprise, or Network plans can create or accept tag shares. Nations on the Leadership plan can only accept tag shares. 


Sharing a tag with other nations

A tag is a discrete and important piece of information regarding a person or organization. For example, a coalition might ask all of their supporters to sign a petition. The exact same petition exists on each member organization's website. One nation can share a tag with a second nation to indicate that the petition has been signed. That tag will be added to people who already exist in the second nation. The second nation can then exclude those people from future email blasts regarding the petition. This is a powerful way to share a specific piece of data with like-minded organizations.

Within a network, even more sensitive information can be shared with tags. For example, a networked nation could let other networked nations know who their large (or small) donors are, ensuring targeting across the network is synchronized.

To share an existing tag:

1. Go to People > Tags and click on the edit_icon.pngnext to the tag you want to share.

how to edit a tag in NationBuilder

Note that if you click on the tag name, in this case "Board," you will be taken to a filter of people who have that tag.

2. Click on the "Sharing" tab.

3. Enter the slug of the nation with which you would like to share data.

Sharing a tag with another nation in NationBuilder

You can share the tag with multiple nations by separating their slugs with commas.

4. Click the "Create share" button.

When the receiving nation(s) accept this tag share, the tag will be added to profiles that already exist in the receiving nation(s).


Sharing a tag and syncing profile information

A tag is a single data point on a profile. Nations may decide to also sync profile information with each other. Up to 37 fields are always included in a data sync. These fields represent core information regarding a person (or organization) that would not change based on interaction with a particular nation.

Syncing profile information should not be done lightly. All nations involved in a data sync accept mutual responsibility for data hygiene, trusting one another to only update profiles with more accurate information.

When profile information is shared, 30 fields are always synced. This includes 6 address fields and each address has 22 components. When all nations included in the tag share have voters enabled, an additional 7 fields are always synced. 

To sync profile information, follow steps 1-3 in sharing a tag.

4. Check the box next to "Sync profile information of people with this tag." The fields that always sync and the fields you can choose to sync will then display.

Sync profile data using NationBuilder tags

5. Decide whether to include optional fields in the syncing process. Checking the box includes that field in the sync. If there is an arrow next to the name, checking the box will include all associated fields in the sync. Feel free to uncheck specific boxes within a group of fields. Note that custom fields and Facebook UID can only be included when sharing data within a network.

6. Click the "Create share" button. 


Fields always included when syncing data

37 fields always included 

Choosing to sync data between nations is a choice to keep a significant amount of data the same between nations. If any of these fields are blank in one nation, they will be filled with the content of the other nation. This means that all nations involved should feel confident in their collective data integrity and hygiene. 

Name fields: first name, last name, middle name, legal name, suffix, prefix

Personal fields: birthday, employer, occupation, sex, bio, website, is deceased, religion, ethnicity, place of worship, marital status

Social media fields: Twitter ID, Twitter login, Meetup ID

Phone number fields: phone number, work phone number, mobile number, fax number

Address fields: home address, registered address, mailing address, work address, billing address, user-submitted address

Please note: the logic used with imports is also used in tag sharing. This means that when an address is updated in one nation, it will be updated in the other nation. This is true regardless of what choice the receiving nation has made regarding how it will accept data.

Voter fields synced when both nations have voters enabled: Voter GUID, is party member, is absentee voter, is active voter, is permanent absentee voter, NationBuilder precinct ID, NationBuilder precinct code, NationBuilder precinct name


Optional fields that can be included when syncing data

10 optional fields

Unique ID fields: CivicCRM, County file ID, DW ID, Data Trust ID, External ID, Meetup ID, NGP ID, RNC ID, RNC Registration ID, Salesforce ID, State file ID, VAN ID

Tag sharing uses the same matching process as importing. Imports always include every unique identifier in the matching process. With tag sharing, the process does not assume that unique ID fields in two nations are displaying the same information. You can choose to match and sync any or all of the unique ID fields listed.

Adding additional ID fields to match on may create more ambiguous matches. This means that a profile in the sending and receiving nation cannot be synced because a unique ID field contains a different value in each nation. At this time, no action can be taken within the control panel to resolve this problem and the profiles will not be synced.

Demo: the demographic field has six possible options based on United States Census race categories.

Districts: Districts will only sync if both nations have voters enabled. If any nation involved in the sync has auto-districting enabled, sharing these fields will overwrite existing data. There are 15 district fields that will be synced. District fields within a nation will display different names due to localization

Emails: There are four email fields for each profile. Since supporters can log into a nation's website with an email address, email is a unique identifier and will be used in the matching process if it is shared.

Within a profile, there are three attributes to an email address: the address, whether that address is bad, and whether that address is the primary address for the profile. Whenever the profile is included in an email blast, the blast is sent to the primary address.

When emails are synced in a tag share, only the email address itself is shared. If an address is marked bad, that information will not be shared. Similarly, primary address is not synced between nations.

Facebook UID: This unique ID can only be shared within a network per Facebook platform policy.

Federal do not call: A yes/no field, primarily used to indicate whether the profile is registered on the U.S. national do not call registry.

Fundraiser: this field indicates the profile has raised funds for a nation or has pledged to raise funds for a nation. This is a nation-specific field. We recommend sharing a tag between nations to indicate someone is a fundraiser, rather than syncing this field. 

Volunteer: A yes/no field on a profile and a nation-specific field. When someone fills out a volunteer sign-up page, she is marked as a volunteer in a nation. The field can also be edited in single-person view or via batch update. We recommend sharing a tag between nations to indicate volunteers (can also share role-specific tags), rather than syncing this field.

Custom fields: These fields can only be shared within a network when custom field settings are shared from HQ. By clicking the arrow next to "Custom fields," network HQ or networked nations can choose to sync specific custom fields rather than syncing all custom fields. 

Nation specific fields: We do not recommend syncing these fields because the data should be unique within each nation. These fields should be unique even within a network. We recommend sharing this information by sharing tags between nations rather than the field. The fields in this category are: Do not call, Do not contact, Email opt-in, Priority level, Support level, and Text message opt-in. While we do not recommend sharing these fields, if you check the box next to "Nation specific fields," all of these fields will be shared. Alternatively, you can select specific fields within this category to share.


How to accept a shared tag

Only nation admins can accept a shared tag from another nation. If you are expecting a tag share, check to see if it is available at Dashboard > Activities and People > Tags > View all. 

To receive a shared tag go to People > Tags > View all. A notification will appear showing the nation who shared the tag and the tag name. Shared tags will appear in the format “nation slug:tag name.”

notification of pending tag share

To accept the shared tag:

1. In the control panel, copy in blue is always a hyperlink. Click on the blue, hyperlinked tag name.

link_to_accept_share.jpg

A new screen will appear and the number of decisions to be made will depend on whether the sending nation is also requesting that you sync profile data.

If the sending nation is sharing a tag without syncing profile data, you will see the following:

accept_tag_share_no_other_sync.jpg

2. Click the Accept_share.pngbutton to accept the share. You may reject the tag share by clicking Reject share

 

A notification will appearing confirming either your acceptance, or rejection, of the tag share. 

accepted_tag_share_notification.jpg


How to accept a tag share when profile data syncs

Only nation admins can accept a shared tag from another nation. If you are expecting a tag share, check to see if it is available at Dashboard > Activities and People > Tags > View all. 

To receive a shared tag go to People > Tags > View all. A notification will appear showing the nation who shared the tag and the tag name. Shared tags will appear in the format “nation slug:tag name.”

tag_share_notification.jpg

If the sending nation is requesting that profile information be synced with your nation, you must accept the data sync when accepting the tag share.

1.  Click on the blue, hyperlinked tag name.

link to accept tag share

A new screen will appear. If the sending nation is sharing a tag and syncing profile data, you will see the following:

accept_data_sync_options.jpg

The list of data being shared will only list the optional fields being shared. As the receiving nation, you cannot add optional fields to the sync. Additionally, this list will not include the 37 fields always included when syncing data.

2. Choose how you want to sync data with the sending nation. You must choose one of the three options listed to accept the share. Below is detailed information on how these options work.

sync_options.jpg

Data sync options

When accepting a tag share that includes data syncing, the receiving nation has options. These options are fundamentally the same as the overwrite existing data option for imports. That means that the process is a bit nuanced. Here are the three options and explanations for each choice: 

Always review each change: Nation will review when a field contains data and the tag share wants to change the content of the field. Blank fields will always be filled with data from the other nation.

Accept all changes: Sync will update all fields. During the initial sync, data from the sending nation will overwrite data in the receiving nation. Moving forward, the assumption is that data updated most recently is most accurate. Therefore, if at 9:00 a.m. a field was populated in nation A and that field was populated with different information at 9:30 a.m. in nation B, the data from nation B will be seen in both nations.

Accept only for blank fields: During the initial sync, blank fields in the receiving nation will be filled by data in the sending nation. Moving forward, those fields will be synced between nations using the same "most recent = most accurate" logic described above.

Once the sync options are chosen in the receiving nation, they will also apply to the sending nation. When a receiving nation chooses to review changes, changes to non-blank fields will also be reviewed in the sending nation. 

3. If the sending nation chose to share profiles that do not already exist in your nation, you can choose whether or not to accept these new people into your database.

accept_new_profiles.jpg

Check the box to create new profiles via the tag share. If a person is tagged in the sharing nation and doesn't exist in your nation, a new profile will be created. Existing profiles will be updated. Please note that profiles will only be created in the receiving nation. If you leave the box unchecked, no new profiles will be created from the tag share.

3a. If you check the box to create new people, another option will display:

import_as_prospects_option.jpg

We recommend checking the box to import new profiles as prospects. Checking the box ensures that all new profiles will be labeled prospects.

If the box is unchecked, new profiles will be created as supporters or non-supporters. Support status will be determined in the same way it is determined for imports: if it is shared, support level will determine support status. Otherwise, the amount of information included in the data sync will be used to estimate whether the new profile is a support or a non-supporter. Learn more about how support status is determined

4. Click Accept share to begin your tag share. You may reject the tag share by clicking Reject share


How people are matched

The same matching process used for imports is used for tag sharing. Here is the order of how aspects of a profile are matched between one nation and another:

First, the Voter GUID is used. Then, other unique IDs are used, including social media IDs. Twelve unique IDs are not included in the matching process unless they are chosen by the sending nation when the share begins.

If email addresses are included in the sync, they will be matched at this point. An email address can only exist in one profile within any nation, though each profile can contain up to four emails. 

Finally, if none of the unique IDs connect profiles, a heuristic process combines phone fields, profile name, and birthday to create matches.

It is possible the matching process will detect ambiguous matches. This means that a profile in the sending and receiving nation cannot be synced because a unique ID field contains a different value in each nation. Ambiguous matches will not be synced.

Usually, ambiguous matching is caused by duplicate profiles in one of the nations. Merging duplicate profiles within the sending or receiving nation may resolve ambiguous matches, allowing the profiles to sync.


Tag ownership

The sending nation always retains ownership of the tag. This means the receiving nation cannot exclude a matched profile from the share. Nor can the receiving nation remove a shared tag from an individual profile.

The receiving nation can stop the tag share. This will remove the shared tag from all profiles in the receiving nation. The tag will remain on all profiles in the sending nation.

If the sending nation removes the tag from a profile, the tag will be removed from the synced profile in the receiving nation and no further data syncing will occur. The profiles will remain in both nations without the tag.

If the receiving nation deletes a profile, the sync will stop on that profile. If the tag share includes creating new profiles, a new profile will be created in the receiving nation based on the current data in the sending nation.


Ongoing share process

When the tag is shared: If the tag is added to a new profile in the sending nation, the system will attempt to match that profile to a profile in the receiving nation. This process will occur at least once a day, usually faster. Similarly, if the tag is removed from a profile in the sending nation, it will be removed from the matched profile in the receiving nation. The receiving nation cannot remove the tag from a profile in the sending nation.

When the tag is shared and data is synced: Once profiles are matched, fields will be updated on an ongoing basis. The most recent update is always assumed to be the most accurate information for the field. Therefore, if at 9:00 a.m. a field was populated in nation A and that field was populated with different information at 9:30 a.m. in nation B, the data from nation B will be seen in both nations.

When an address is updated in one nation, the update will be seen in the other nation -- even if the process replaces a complete address with an incomplete one. Addresses are always updated when a tag share includes data sync because tag sharing follows the same overwrite logic as imports. Therefore, even if the receiving nation chooses to review changes, address updates always occur without review. 

The same rules regarding tag ownership apply when data is synced, so the tag itself can only be removed from a sending nation profile by a control panel user in the sending nation. And the only way a shared tag can be removed in the receiving nation is by stopping the tag share or deleting the profile. 


Reviewing changes

When profile information is synced, the receiving nation can choose to review changes to non-blank fields. When this sync option is chosen, both sending and receiving nations review data conflicts before any data is overwritten. You will be able to review changes to profiles that were matched between nations. At this time, it is not possible to resolve ambiguous matches. 

Please remember that blank fields are always filled in during a tag share with data sync, even when the receiving nation chooses to review changes. Additionally, addresses are never included in the review process and will be overwritten whenever they are updated.

The status of a tag share and synced data will be viewable in a series of boxes:

Stats from tag share

Name Description
Status This will show if the share is approved, pending, denied, or stopped. 
Linked This number represents the number of profiles who have been matched and are queued to be synced. The matching process has linked the profiles together, but no data has been shared. In most cases, this number will be zero.
Not found This number represents any profiles that do not have a match in the receiving nation. Every day the sending nation will check again for a match in the receiving nation to resolve the “not found” profiles. This is only applicable if the sharing nations did not choose to create new profiles. 
Ambiguous  This is the number of profiles from the sending nation that have more than one potential matching profile in the receiving nation. At this time, no further action can be taken to resolve ambiguous matches.
Synched This shows the number of profiles who were successfully synced between the two nations and did not have conflicting data.
Unreviewed changes When profiles are matched between nations and there is conflicting data between the profiles, those conflicts will require manual resolution. This is the number of matches that require review.

To review changes in the sending nation: 

1. Go to People > Tags > View all and click on the [pencil icon] next to the name of the shared tag you wish to review.

2. Go to Sharing > Shared with. Click on the pencil icon next to the receiving nation.

Sharing to shared with

3. You will be directed to a screen where you can see the stats boxes. You may also review the settings selected during the initial share including sync options, data being shared between the nations, and whether people will be created in the receiving nation if they do not currently exist.

Click on “Unreviewed changes.”

Unreviewed changes

4. In “Unreviewed changes” you will see a side by side comparison of the conflicting data present in the two nations.

Resolve conflicting fields

5. To accept a data change from the other nation check the box next to the selected field. Click “Apply selected options.” This will overwrite the data in your nation.

Any fields that need to be accepted by the other nation must be accepted within the receiving nation’s control panel. You can not select to overwrite another nation’s data.

You may skip certain fields by unchecking the appropriate checkboxes and clicking “Skip.” You can also skip whole profiles using the “Skip” button.

To review changes in the receiving nation: 

1. Go to People > Tags > View all and click on the edit_icon.png next to the name of the shared tag you wish to review.

2. Click on “Unreviewed changes.” Follow the same process as outlined above. Similarly, you may not overwrite the sending nation’s data from your control panel.

If conflicts are skipped or unreviewed, those fields will remain out of sync until the conflicts are resolved. Matched profiles will continue to sync, and blank fields will be filled. 


How to edit or stop a tag share

Once a tag share is created, it cannot be edited. The sending nation must stop and re-start the tag share to edit its parameters. This system ensures that both the sending and receiving nations have a chance to approve changes to a tag share.

A receiving nation can stop a tag share, but it cannot edit the parameters or re-start the share. 

To edit a tag in the sending nation:

1. Go to People > Tags > View all.

2. Select the pencil icon next to the tag you wish to stop sharing.

3. Go to “Sharing”

4. Click on the edit icon next to the slug of the nation with whom you wish to stop the tag share.

5. Click stop sharing button

A confirmation box will pop up asking if you are sure. 

confirmation to stop tag share pop-up

Click "OK" to confirm that you want to stop the tag share. A tag share must be stopped before it can be edited.

6. From here you may update the settings of your tag share including whether to sync profile information, which optional fields to include in the syncing process, and whether profiles should be created in the receiving nation if they do not currently exist.

edit tag share settings when the tag was previously shared

7. Click button to save changes to tag share settings to update your settings. 

8. Click request sharing button to re-request the tag share in the receiving nation. 

It is important to complete these steps exactly as written - the fields to be shared must be saved by clicking the "update share" button before clicking the "request sharing" button. Otherwise, changes made to the tag share will not be saved. 

A receiving nation can only stop the tag share: 

1. Go to People > Tags > View all  and click on the edit icon looks like a pencil next to the name of the shared tag you wish to review.

2. Click on stop sharing button to end the tag share.

The receiving nation cannot edit whether a tag share includes data syncing, the optional fields included, or whether new profiles will be created. Only the sending nation can edit the settings of the tag share. 

What happens when a tag share is stopped

A tag share that is stopped -- either from the sending or from the receiving nation -- will display the "stopped" status in the sending nation. The tag will be removed from the receiving nation. If the sending nation updates the share and starts the process again, the receiving nation will have to accept the share again, thereby confirming the new parameters of the tag share.

Here is how the status will display in the sending nation:

Stopped status displayed in sending nation

The tag and its stat boxes will no longer display in the receiving nation when a share is stopped.


View the tags dashboard

Viewing shared tags in the sending nation:

You may review shared tags under People > Tags > View all. All shared tags will have a people icon next to their name.

Shared tags in dashboard

To look at shared tags exclusively, click “Shared.”

Shared vs all

Viewing shared tags in the receiving nation:

Shared tags will be noticeable due to their slightly darker yellow appearance.

Shared tags in receiving dashboard

Tags with the Person icon indicates profile data is shared between nations. The Plus sign icon indicates that new profiles will be added if they do not currently exist in the receiving nation.


Currently, tag sharing may not work properly when more than 500,000 profiles are included in the tag share. We recommend breaking down the share into smaller groups. 

At this time, you need to be aware that a tag share is coming, because notifications only occur at Dashboard > Activities and People > Tags > View all. 

How to use tags

Creating a tag library

Filters vs. lists vs. tags


If you’re unclear on how this feature works, please ask a question. If you would like to see changes to this feature, please submit a suggestion.