Tips for Advanced Search in BigContacts

Posted by Bob Walton on Wed, October 6, 2010 @ 08:13 AM

We often receive questions regarding better ways to search for and filter out a targeted list of contacts.  As you may know, BigContacts offers a very robust search function that we simply call "Advanced Search". 

Note:  We have added a new search function that we have outlined below.

This great search tool can be accessed in one of two ways in your account.

  1. From the "Contacts" Tab
    This is a great way to do a quick search without leaving the "Contacts" Tab.  The search capabilities here are the same as you will find by using the "Advanced Search" in the "Reports" tab.  The only thing you CANNOT do here is create a "Custom Report" from your search. 

    Advanced Search in BigContacts
  2. From the "Reports" Tab

    If you have a certain report that you like to run periodically, you will want to save the search as a "Custom Report".  The next time you need to access this information, simply click on the "Reports" tab and notice that the first tab to the right of the "Advanced Search" is the "Custom Reports" tab.  Click on this and you can view your entire list of custom reports.  One click on the report name and you will have your results.

    The great thing about these custom reports is that they are "dynamic" reports.  Meaning that every time you pull up this report our system will search for and display all of the contacts that CURRENTLY fit your search criteria.

Advanced Search in BigContacts

Special "Advanced Search" functions

We offer a number of special functions that allow you to perform more specific searches within your system.  This list of special functions is located at the bottom of the "Advanced Search" window.  If you scroll down past all of the search fields, you will see a description of how to use these special search functions next time you need to find a certain subset of your contacts. 

Special Search functions in BigContacts

Below, we have included the text from this highlighted section. 

You can search on multiple tags. You can AND the tags, or you can OR the tags. To find contacts that have both tag1, tag2 AND tag3, enter 'tag1 tag2 tag3' in the box next to tag. The space between the tags indicates 'AND' To find contacts that have either tag1 OR tag2, enter 'tag1,tag2' (with no spaces) in the box next to tag. The comma between the tags indicates 'OR' 

Add a '%' to the end of a search string to find a partial match. For example, to find all contacts whose last name starts with 'Mc', enter 'Mc%' in the box next to 'Last Name'. 

Add a '!' to the beginning of a search string to look for contacts that don't have that information. For example, to find all contacts that do not live in 'Chicago', enter '!Chicago' in the box next to 'City'. 

Use '<blank>' to find empty data fields. For example, to find all contacts for which you do not have a date of birth, enter '<blank>' in the box next to 'DOB' 

***Special Search Function - just added!***

In addition to all of the special functions listed above, we have just released a new search function. 

You can now search for and pull up a list of contacts that have a certain field populated.  For example, let's say you ONLY want to pull up a list of contacts that have an email address loaded into their contact record, as you are planning to do an email blast and you want to find only those contacts that actually have email addresses to send to.

Use '_%' in any of our standard data fields and this will only present you with contacts that have that field populated with data.  This is so new, we have yet to update our "special functions" with this search tip!

So next time you need to find that list of contacts that all have information loaded in a certain field, this is the tool for the job.

Note: these special functions do not work with custom data.

To learn more about how to use this great tool in BigContacts, feel free to start a live chat (Monday - Friday 8am-5pm EST)


BigContacts Live Support

Please feel free to submit a support ticket or join us for a live chat should you have any questions as you work with this new module.  BigContacts Support Center

Categories: Best Practices