ArcGIS Online

Organizing members in your organization: An introduction to member categories

Are you an administrator who needs to categorize and find subsets of members in your organization? Are you a member of your organization who is looking for the right members to invite to your group?

The March 2022 update of ArcGIS Online introduces member categories, a new way of organizing members in your organization, that can be beneficial for both administrators and members.

In this article, we first explain what member categories are. We then talk about five common scenarios in which member categories are useful to both administrators and members and discuss why you should consider using them in your organization. At the bottom of the article, we show you how simple and flexible member categories are to set up and use in your organization.

What are the member categories?

Member categories are hierarchical categories for organizing members according to characteristics such as department, location, and expertise. Both administrators and members with the “View Members” privilege can use these member categories to filter the list of members on the organization page’s Members tab.

Administrators can use member categories with other available filters on the organization page’s Members tab when performing bulk member management tasks. In the March 2022 update, only default administrators have the privilege to set up the member categories.

To administrators: Three common scenarios in which member categories are useful

Refer to the later section “How to set up and assign member categories as administrators?” to get the hands-on details.

1. Categorizing members based on their roles and responsibility, as an administrator 

When new members join the organization, depending on their roles and responsibilities, administrators will need to help them set up proper privileges to access certain licenses, groups, and content.

Below are examples that members are treated differently based on their roles in their organizations.

How can member categories help with this scenario?

Administrators assign new members to the previously created member categories such as “Inspection workers”. Following a set of regulations for a new member with a specific role in the organization, administrators can select members from this category and assign them the appropriate user types and roles, allocate a certain number of credits, and add them to a list of groups.

2. Managing the chaos when existing members change the term or leave the organization, as an administrator 

When members change the term or leave the organization, there is a list of things administrators will need to take care of, including removing them from the groups they belong to, cleaning up their content, revoking their licenses, and eventually removing their accounts. It’s tedious work, especially when there are a number of people waiting to go through this process each week. This work can become overwhelming for those administrators who already have many to-do lists every day. For example:

How can member categories help with this scenario?

Ideally, those contractors, interns, and students in one class have been previously assigned to certain member categories. Or if they belong to a group, it’s very easy to assign them to a certain member category (refer to the bottom section: How to set up and assign member categories as administrators?)

Administrators then select all members from the previously assigned member category such as “Contractors”, transfer their content to another member, remove their add-on licenses, remove their assigned user type and role, and move them out of the assigned groups. If needed, those member accounts can be disabled and deleted later.

3. Organizing regional/multi-departmental members in large organizations, as an administrator 

As organizations have grown over time, so has the number of departments or regions that use ArcGIS Online. Many organizations have multiple administrators or member managers to manage the accounts and access of members in their region or department. Often times the administrative tasks are for a subset of the members in their region and department.

Take a local county office as an example, where there are multiple departments.

How can member categories help with this scenario?

Either organization administrators can take responsibility for setting up the member categories for all regions or departments, or each regional/departmental administrator can set up their own. Regional or departmental administrators can assign their members to those member categories.

Regional or departmental administrators can select members from those categories, with the option of using additional search keywords or filters (such as user type and role) to narrow down to a smaller set of members. They can then assign the members the add-on licenses, additional credits and add them to groups.

To members: two common scenarios in which member categories are useful

1. Selecting users to invite to your group, as a member

When a member creates a new group and invites users to join the group, or someone looks for additional users to join the existing group, it’s sometimes challenging to find the right members. For example, suppose you are looking for members who fit one of the following criteria:

How can member categories help with this scenario?

Any members with the general “view members” privilege can view member categories in the organization when they invite users to their group. If administrators have assigned contractors in the utility company to a category called “Contractors”, members can easily add everyone from this category to their group. They can also use additional filters in the Invite users window, such as user type, member role, or another organization group to narrow down a list of members before inviting them to their group.

Combine member category with other filter such as organization group to invite users to the group.
Combine member category with other filter such as organization group to invite users to the group.

2. Browsing members from other departments or regions, as a member

Sometimes it’s beneficial to see a list of members that work at the same or different departments or regions and check out their profiles, shared content, and groups for collaboration or reference. For example:

How can member categories help with this scenario?

As a member, you can view your own member categories on the bottom of your user settings page. Based on this information, you can browse members on the organization page’s Members tab to locate those who are in the same or different class/department/region as you. You can also access their shared or public profile, their shared content, and groups.

How to set up and assign member categories as administrators?

Administrators can set up to three levels of member categories.  It’s very easy to add, edit or delete categories. You can even drag and drop to re-organize them once the categories are set up.

To reorganize member categories, it’s very easy by dragging and dropping those categories
To reorganize member categories, it’s very easy by dragging and dropping those categories

It’s very flexible for administrators to assign members to one or more categories and remove members from categories. If the target members belong to a group, you can use the filter “Organization’s Groups” on the left side of the organization page’s Members tab to locate those members, and then assign them to the desired member categories.

Use filters on the organization page’s Members tab to locate the target members first.
Use filters on the organization page’s Members tab to locate the target members first. Here the filter is organization’s groups
Assign the target members to the desired member categories

To perform any bulk member management tasks, administrators can select all members in a category, assign member roles, add them to specific groups, etc.

Select all members from the member category to do bulk member management task, for example, manage credits
Select all members from the member category to do bulk member management task, for example, manage credits

Many bulk member management tasks are available, including

Refer to a list of bulk member management tasks you can combine with the use of member categories here.

To add more flexibility and convenience, administrators can use search keywords and other filters on the organization page’s Members tab to narrow down a set of members, such as one or multiple organization groups, last login time, specific user type, etc. Assign them certain default or custom member role, add to certain groups, etc.

Filter the members with additional filter, before performing bulk member management task
Filter the members by selecting all members from the member category with additional filter: user type, before performing bulk member management task

 

We are excited to hear how you and your organization decide to use member categories. Organize the members in your organization and streamline many administrative tasks with the target members, as well as empower the members to manage their groups with the right users.  Please direct your feedback or suggestion to Esri community ArcGIS Online forum or ideas.

About the author

Julia Shi is a Product Manager with ArcGIS Online and ArcGIS Instant Apps. She has a passion for SaaS and web technology, as well as empowering customers success.

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