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How do I create custom user fields?

You can add up to 20 fields of custom data to your user profiles to improve reporting and managing users.

Lou Monsour avatar
Written by Lou Monsour
Updated over a week ago

People in Tribal Habits have both standard fields (default fields within Tribal Habits) and custom fields (unique fields for your organisation). For organisations wanting to filter their reports or manage large groups of people, the use of up to 20 custom fields can be very handy. Custom fields are managed in the Account area of your portal.

NOTE: When creating Custom Fields for data associated to your users, we strongly advise to not store highly sensitive data. Highly sensitive data includes things such as: Date of birth, home addresses, licence/passport numbers, payroll information (bank accounts, tax, super).

Whilst security at Tribal Habits is maintained at a high standard, Custom Fields and their data, can be exposed to admins, managers or assessors within the portal, which can create a risk, whether by accident or malicious behaviour if not maintained and managed correctly.

User data populated for Custom Fields in an LMS should be restricted to information that is needed to purely help manage enrolments such as: Job Title, Division, Role, Office Location - company only information.


#1 - If you delete a custom field, it will delete all stored data in that field for all users. There is no recovery. Perhaps download a CSV of user data before any custom field deletion to be safe.

#2 - If you delete a custom field, it will stop any saved rules (for automated enrolments or catalogue viewing) which used that field. Perhaps download a CSV of all your topics, articles and pathways first (to show saved rules) so you can edit/recreate any rules.

Setting up custom fields

  1. Go AdminAccountFields.

  2. Here you will see two panels. Custom Fields (which are unique to your organisation and you can edit) and Standard Fields (which is a list of all Standard Fields).

  3. You can add new Custom Fields by editing that panel, typing the label for a new field, adding an optional description, selecting the type of field and then pressing enter. This will create your field.

  4. Beside each field, you can then optionally tick one or more of the three visibility settings beside each custom field.

  5. Click 'Save' to save your new custom fields.

Important: As mentioned in step 3 above, to add your field, please ensure once you have filled out the details and assigned the visibility settings that you click 'Enter' on your keyboard to successfully add the field. You can optionally continue to then add more custom fields or click save when you are ready.

Here's an example of how you can set up various custom fields for user data.

Let's review various choices around custom fields.

Custom field types

There are four types of custom fields.

  • Text. This is the default type of field (and the type of field for any custom field created before January 2023).

    • Text fields accept any value, including numbers and dates. However, all values in these fields are stored as 'text' and will be searched as text. So entering '100' into a text field is acceptable, but '100' is stored a text not a number. So the search filters will utilise text search (e.g. Field contains '100') and not number search (e.g. Field is less than 101).

    • Text fields can only store one item per text field. For example, if you enter 'Brisbane;Sydney' into a text field, this is treated as one item of 'Brisbane;Sydney' not two items of 'Brisbane' and 'Sydney'. If you did enter 'Brisbane;Sydney' into a text field, then you will still be able to search for that entry by Field contains 'Brisbane' or Field contains 'Sydney'. However, if you search for Field equals 'Brisbane' that result would not be returned (since the field actually equals 'Brisbane;Sydney'). For storing multiple items in a field, please use the List type.

  • Number. This field only accepts numbers (integers). Decimals are supported.

    • Number fields have a different search function from text fields - they can be searched based on value (equals, greater than, less than or between).

  • Date. This field only accepts dates. The date can be set manually by an admin or via the CSV upload. Time values are not supported - only dates. Supported date formats are as follows.

    • yyyy-mm-dd

    • dd/mm/yy

    • dd/mm/yyyy

  • List. This field allows you to create a list of items.

    • Once your list is created (you can also bulk upload list data for any list fields via the Lists CSV bulk upload option), only data exactly matching an item will be accepted into the field.

    • Items can be selected via dropdowns by admins or added via the upload CSV process.

    • Each user can have multiple items for a given field, making this a good choice for storing data like multiple locations (e.g. the user works in both Sydney and Brisbane). If adding multiple items via a CSV upload, please separate items with a semi-colon (;) with no spaces (e.g. Brisbane;Sydney;Melbourne).

    • AFTER you add and save a new List field, you will then see an Edit link in the Custom Fields panel to edit the items in that field.

    • You can delete, add, sort or rename items in a list and the items will update for existing learners.

Custom field visibility

Each custom field has three visibility setting options which you can configure by ticking the checkboxes next to each of the icons, explained below:

  • Funnel - Custom fields can be used for filtering on almost every Analytics report. Every CSV download will also include all your custom fields. However, to manage tables for online viewing, we have a limit of (up to) five custom fields. This means you can select up to five of your custom fields to be visible in online tables (remember - you can still filter by all fields and all fields will appear in CSV downloads). The funnel icon is used to select your fields for online visibility. This means you select your five most important fields for managing enrolments or viewing data.

  • Person - When you select this option it means users can see their data for that custom field when viewing their own profile on the explorer dashboard. Custom fields which do not have this option selected are only visible to admins (i.e. for training management purposes only).

  • Tick - When you select this option it means an assessor can see the custom field for filtering purposes when assessing explorer contributions.

Adding data to custom fields

You can add data to custom fields just as you add data to the standard fields in Tribal Habits. You can either edit an individual person to add data or perform a bulk upload to upload and map data into your custom fields (including adding new fields or updating existing data).

Custom field filtering

After you have created custom fields, you can use that information to filter data in your portal. On appropriate reporting pages, you will see an All People filter button. If you click that button, you will be able to use the All People filter.

Let's review the filter options for the different types of custom fields.

  • Text. This is a keyword search. You can search for contains, does not contain, equals and does not equal.

    • Note that the search is based on text (strings) - if you have stored dates or numbers in this field, the search will still be based on a text match.

    • You can enter multiple search terms into a Text field filter using a 'contains' or 'does not contains' search. Separate each term with a comma and no spaces (e.g. "Brisbane,Sydney" not "Brisbane, Sydney"). A 'contains' search will treat multiple items as OR ("Brisbane,Sydney" will return users with the phrase 'Brisbane' OR 'Sydney' in that field).

  • Date. This is a date search. There are From and To fields.

    • To search for an exact date, enter the same date in From and To fields.

    • To search before a date, enter the date in the To field.

    • To search from a date, enter the date in the From field.

    • To search between dates, enter your dates in the From and To fields.

  • Number. This is a number search. There are From and To fields.

    • To search for an exact number, enter the same number in From and To fields.

    • To search lower than a number, enter the number in the To field.

    • To search higher than a number, enter the number in the From field.

    • To search between numbers, enter your numbers in the From and To fields.

  • List. This is an exact match search. You can search for contains, does not contain, equals and does not equal. You can then select one or more items from the drop-down list.

Custom field FAQs

Can I rename a custom field after its created?

Yes. Go to Admin / Account / Fields and edit the Custom Field panel. You can edit the label and description for any field.

Can I change the items in a List field after they are created?

Yes. Go to Admin / Account / Fields and click the Edit link in the row for the List field. That will take you to a new page where you can edit the items in that field. You can reorder items (for use in dropdown menus) as well as rename, delete or add items.

Can I change the type of custom field after its created?

No. You must select the type of custom field at the time it is created. If you want to change the type of field you will need to create a new field and migrate your data into that new field (and then delete the old field). See Custom field migration below.

Can I change the display order of custom fields in the admin area?

Not at this time. The order will not impact anything or change any features.

Can I bulk upload items in a List field?

Yes, you can bulk upload via the Lists upload option! Please note this upload is only for adding new List field items or updating existing - you cannot create Custom fields via this import. For more details on this process please see this article here.

How do I obtain the List ID's and Item ID's for a bulk upload of List items?

You can download the List's template as part of the steps outline in the Lists bulk upload process here or you can locate these ID's by navigating to Admin -> Account -> Fields.

  1. Your List ID's can be located on the main page, in brackets next to the name of your Custom Fields (below)

  2. Your Item ID's can be located by clicking on the 'Edit' option next to any of your List type fields (below)

    You will then see the following screen with your current List items and their ID's in brackets next to their name:

How can I migrate data when changing custom field types?

You cannot change the type of custom field after it is created. So you cannot change a Text field to a List field after the creation of that field, for example.

If you wish to change the type of custom field, you will need to create a new custom field and migrate your data. Note: This may also involve making changes to saved rules (for automated enrolments or catalogues).

Here's the process to follow, with an example of changing a field called Location (from Text to List).

  1. Download lists of ALL of your topics, articles and pathways to capture information about any saved automation or catalogue rules.

    1. First, go to Admin / Knowledge / Topics. From the dropdown above the table, select 'Show Active and Draft topics'. Then scroll to the end of the table and download a CSV.

    2. Second, repeat the above with Admin / Knowledge / Articles.

    3. Third, repeat the above for Admin / Knowledge / Pathways.

    4. In each CSV, look for the Self-Enrol column. It will show all your rules. Check to see if any rule is using the custom field you are able to change. If so, then you will need to take action in the final step of this process.

  2. Create your new custom field. To avoid confusion, give it a different name (for now).

    • Example: We create a new List field called Location New. We then create a list of items for all our locations.

    Note: You may also prefer to leave the Person and Tick checkboxes switched off for now to avoid the new field being visible to users on their profiles or assessors when filtering for assessment purposes.

  3. Download a CSV of all your users from Admin / People. Edit the CSV and delete all columns except first name, last name, user name, email and the old custom field.

    • Example: So we would delete all columns except first name, last name, user name, email and Location.

  4. Rename the column with your data to the new field name.

    • Example: We rename the column from 'Location' to 'Location New'.

  5. Review and verify all data. If moving to Number field, ensure all data is a number (format as number in Excel). If moving to Date field, ensure all data is in the form of a date and saved in one of the accepted formats. If moving to a List, ensure all data matches the exact items in the list.

    • Example: We review the data to ensure every cell has a location that exactly matches one of the items in the Location New list. If not, we add the missing item or we change the data to match an existing item.

  6. Upload your CSV using the Upload People process. This will populate the new custom field. Fix any errors until the upload is complete.

    • Example: We complete the upload and populate the Location New field.

  7. Verify the upload was correct and data was populated correctly. Check you are satisfied all the new data is correct.

  8. Now you can delete the old field and save. Go to Admin / Account / Fields and edit the Custom Field panel. Delete the old field and save. DO NOT RENAME THE NEW FIELD YET.

  9. After deleting and saving (ensure you have deleted and saved and that the old field is gone), you can then edit the Custom Field panel again and rename the new field. If necessary, update the visibility settings to allow users to see the field on their profile or assessors to see it when filtering for assessment purposes.

  10. Now let's revisit step 1. If any Catalogue or Automated rules for your topics, articles and pathways were using the old field, you will need to create new rules using the new field. See this article on creating and managing rules.

    1. Go to each affected topic, article or pathway and delete the rule containing the old field.

    2. Now go to Admin / People and create a new search using the new field. Save that search as a new rule to the affected topic, article or pathway.

    3. Repeat until all your old rules are replaced by new rules.

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