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Categories vs field data types

Your index information is made up of fields and categories, here's how to choose which data type is best for you


Categories are the segments of people that appear on your index home page, including the default 'All people'. 

As a guideline, effective categories should have the following attributes:

  • Categories are usually shared by multiple people (eg: Department is a common category as there are many people in the Marketing department, while Role is usually a field as there is only one Marketing Director)
  • Categories should be as broad as possible. Where further segmenting is required, rather create multiple categories that can then be sorted or filtered to achieve the desired result (eg: create separate Department and Location categories, rather than a specific Marketing - New York category). 

Categories can be switched on and renamed on the Design / Home page section of your admin dashboard. Existing categories can be rearranged and sub-categories can also be displayed as home page categories through drag and drop.


Fields are the data entries that appear on your profile pages. It is possible, and likely, that a home page category will also be a profile field.

There are several behaviors that you can attribute to your fields to allow users to interact with them in a useful way, such as:

  • Text: the default behavior, where data will be displayed as plain text
  • Email address: will allow users to select an email address and bounce straight into a new email draft in their preferred email service
  • Mobile number: allows for tap to call, FaceTime, text or WhatsApp when selected from a mobile device (provided the mobile number formatting is correct)
  • Telephone number: allows for tap to call only, suited to landline phone numbers
  • Skype: allows for calling contacts via their Skype ID
  • Link: creates a hyperlink to a valid url
  • Date: allows for the creation of dynamic, smart groups based on date fields, such as Recent joiners or Upcoming birthdays


More questions? We’re here to help. Get in touch at hello@namesandfaces.com