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Optimizing Tag Usage


Tags are user-created keywords or phrases that can help users find, group, and classify large amounts of data by common attributes that may not already be defined via basic database fields. Before beginning to use tags, it is important that each organization develop a strategy to facilitate searching and organizing information in Sugar. This article suggests some of the best practices for using tags.

For more information on tags, please refer to the Tags and Tag Management documentation.

Note: This article pertains to Sugar versions 7.x and higher.

Balance Tag Specificity

Tags are like a glossary for your CRM. They unify data along common themes to help organize the information you collect. Choosing the best tags can be a delicate balance - they should be specific enough to refer to only one thing but not so granular that you end up with multiple, synonymous tags. In order for a tag to be effective at helping users find related groups of records, the tag needs to apply to neither too few records nor too many. For example, tulips, roses, and daisies may be better grouped into the single tag "flowers", but the broader tag "plants" is probably too common to be useful.

Create and Enforce Tagging Rules

It is recommended that you lay down some hard-and-fast rules to help users understand when tagging is appropriate. Some examples of rules to consider include:

  • Do not create a new tag if it can only be used once. For example, avoid creating overly specific tags that are not applicable to many records.
  • Consider how you will use the tags in order to decide if splitting compound tags into individual, focused tags is beneficial (e.g. "2015 Laser Medical Michigan" vs. "2015", "Laser", "Medical", and "Michigan").
  • Do not create tags that duplicate data fields which already exist in your Sugar instance. For example, if a record contains a Priority field, using a "High Priority" tag on that record would be redundant and cause incomplete results when users later search for high priority records via the Priority field. 
  • Encourage consistent styles by:
    • Suggesting a maximum number of words per tag.
    • Defining how to handle abbreviations.
    • Specifying when capitalization is appropriate.
    • Being consistent with date formats and order (e.g. "2015 Jan Comic-Con" vs "Comic-Con 01/2015")

Communicate Tagging Standards With Users

Your tag strategy can only be successful if you talk with users about your expectations. Consider sending occasional email blasts to the user base with tips to reinforce the rules of tagging in your instance. As you perform regular tag maintenance, you will know what issues and misuses need to be addressed with your user base.

Perform Tag Maintenence

By default, you must be an administrator or have developer-level role access to create, edit, delete, and merge tags in the Tags module. It may be helpful to delegate these administrative tasks to one or more designated user(s) without giving them full administrative permissions in Sugar. To enable a user to administrate the Tags module, follow the instructions in the Tag Management documentation.

A Sugar admin or the tags administrator should make the following tasks a priority: 

  • Designate a day of the week or month to perform tag maintenance.
  • Merge any duplicate, redundant, and overly-specific tags. Merging multiple tag records will cause records related to any of the tags to be automatically related to the surviving tag.
  • Review newly created tags to make sure they are formatted correctly.
  • Spot check Sugar records to ensure that they are tagged correctly.
  • Remove obsolete tags from records. For example, if a person was once tagged "prospect" and later tagged "customer", then the prospect tag is no longer relevant.

Note: While the "Find Duplicates" functionality is disabled for all users of the Tags module, users with administrator access to the Tags module can find and merge duplicate tag records via list view. For more information on merging records, refer to the User Interface documentation.

Ensure Tags Provide Insight

Finally, keep in mind the usefulness of tags for making sense of data. Do not let users tag for the sake of tagging - if a tag does not offer value then it may be more confusing than helpful. Often, tags are valuable to facilitate list segmentation. Consider the following use cases for some common Sugar user roles:

  • Marketing : Tag leads and contacts who have downloaded a certain report or are interested in a particular product.
  • Sales : Tag leads and contacts based on their role and product interest.
  • Support : Tag cases and contacts for SLAs, partner agreements, or maybe even to flag persistent customers.

Other use cases for effective tagging include:

Use Case Example Tags
Classifying high-value or urgent business
Connecting specific events and activities with clients
Assigning role-based attributes
Noting interest-based and demographic classifications