Exploring Some CiviCRM Extensions

This month, I thought I’d explore two extensions available for CiviCRM that might improve your workflow and enliven your CRM a bit.  If either of these extensions catches your eye, let us know and we’d be glad to install and configure them for you!
Are you looking for a more visual representation of some of the information in your CiviCRM?  Are you the type who prefers charts and graphs to tables of data?  If so, the Civisualize extension may be your friend.  Once this extension is installed, you can add several cool visual items to your CiviCRM dashboard, and see your contacts, contributions, memberships, and events in new and different ways.
Once Civisualize is installed and enabled, you can go to your main Civi page (https://yoursite.org/civicrm?reset=1) and click on “Configure Your Dashboard.”  You’ll then see several dashlets with names beginning “Dataviz.”
Let’s add them to the dashboard and see what we get - here’s a view of the contributions visual:
The most intriguing feature about these charts is that they are interactive - you can click on them to reset or refilter the data.  Let’s try it out with the participants graph on the events dashlet - by dragging the date range and expanding/reducing it, we can adjust the date range as needed.  The other dashlets have similar functionality.
For many of you, this may be a good starting point for data visualizations from your Civi data, but not necessarily all that you need.  It’s certainly possible to create custom visualizations similar to these; those of you utilizing Jasper Reports could also jazz up your report library with a few charts and graphs, too.  Interested in this?  Reach out to your support team for detail.
Contact Layout Editor
Over the years, we’ve heard a number of clients wish that they could adjust the contact summary tab in Civi to view the more important information more easily, or to adjust the data so only certain staff see more sensitive data.  Thanks to a recent CiviCRM Make It Happen initiative, the Contact Layout Editor extension is now available to meet both those needs.
Once the extension is installed and enabled, the layout editor will become available from Administer > Customize Data & Screens > Contact Summary Layouts.  Notice that you can choose from among your available data sets, and can drag and drop to arrange as you like.
Notice here that I added the Major Donor data set at the top - I was imagining a use case where staff need to access major donor data easily and quickly (as it’s part of their frequent workflow), so I placed it where it cannot be missed.  
Taking this use case one step further, it is also possible to restrict this layout to a group of specific staff who have particular responsibility for development work, and show a different layout - perhaps with this data at the bottom, or not on the tab at all - to the rest of the staff.  If your staff are easily divided into groups, you could theoretically set up layouts for each department that make sense for the type of work they do, and feature the data they need most.  We can also install and help you configure this extension if you would like to explore it!

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