Creating a Data Collection for a Matter (Admin)

Modified on Thu, 06 Jun 2024 at 12:54 PM

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Custom data is a way of storing important information within a matter. 

For example, perhaps you want to record settlement dates for conveyancing matters. You can do this using a custom data field. In Actionstep, you can group custom data fields into what's called a custom data collection. When creating custom matter data, you must first create the data collection first. Then, you can create the fields that will be used in the collection.

Creating a Data Collection


To create a new custom data collection:

  1. In Actionstep, an admin can go to go to Admin > Matter types.
  2. Click Settings for the matter type that you want the data collection to be for.
  3. Click Manage for the Matter data section. The Matter Data page appears.
  4. Click Create data collection. The New Data Collection window appears.
  5. In the General Settings section, enter the following information:
    • Name: Enter the name of the data collection. This name will only be used when referencing the data collection (and its related data fields) in areas of Actionstep like document and email templates. (Do not use spaces in the name. If needed, use capital letters and underscores to make the name more readable.)
    • Description: Enter some text to help guide users on what content this data collection will be collecting. 
    • Type: Choose whether users can enter a single answer or multiple sets of answers by choosing One row per Matter or Many rows per Matter, respectively. (While "many rows" will be less popular, it is useful for instances where you might have an unknown number of items that you need to collect for a matter.)
  6. In the Matter Settings section, enter the following information:
    • Display title: Enter the text that will be used on the button users will click to view the related fields, for example: If you plan on using multiple data collections, a shorter title may work best.
    • Sort order: Enter a number that determines which order multiple data collections will be listed on the matter. A data collection with a lower number will appear before (to the left of) a data collection with a higher number.
    • Related matter sharing: Toggle this option to on to share this data collection with a related matter
      NOTE:  When sharing a data collection between related matters, if you update a field in one matter, the field in the other matter will be updated automatically. However, please note that you cannot reference fields in a shared data collection on a document template that you produce from a related matter.
    • Always show description: Toggle this option to on to show field descriptions on the 'view' pages as well as the 'edit' pages. This is useful if the descriptions provide context for the fields labels or values.
  7. In the Fields section, click Add row to add custom matter fields to the collection. See LINK below for detailed instructions.
  8. In the System role permissions section, toggle Custom permissions to on to grant various levels of access to specific user roles in your system. See LINK below for detailed instructions.

Adding Fields to a Custom Data Collection

In this section, you can create and do some basic edits of the fields that will sit under the data collection you are creating. Each row represents a different field that will appear under your data collection.

To add a field:

  1. Create or edit a custom data collection for the matter type you want the fields associated with.
  2. In the New Data Collection window, in the Fields section, click Add row. An editable row is added to the view.
  3. Enter a Name for the field. This name is the merge field used to reference this data in other parts of Actionstep, such as document templates or custom list views. 
    NOTE:  The field name can't use spaces. You might consider using capitals or underscores to help make it readable, for example, Customer_instructions.
  4. Enter a Label, which is the prompt that will be used for the field. 
  5. Click the Data Type drop-down list and choose which type of field you want to create. See Understanding Custom Data Field Types to learn about what's available.
  6. Enter a Form Order number, which is like a sort order. A field with a lower number will appear before a field with a higher number on the form.
  7. Select Required if you want to require the user to answer the field.
  8. Repeat steps 2-7 for each additional field you want included on the form. 
  9. When all changes are made, click Save

Assigning System-Level Permissions to the Data Collection. 

Actionstep lets you choose who can access a data collection. For example, you might create a data collection specifically for the information that should be restricted and then use the system role permissions to restrict access to it.

By default, anybody who has access to the matter type that this data collection is associated with will have access to the data collection. 

To assign permissions:

  1. Create or edit a custom data collection for the matter type you want to grant or restrict access to.
  2. In the New Data Collection window, in the System role permissions section, toggle Custom permissions to on
  3. In the list of system roles, select the level of permission each role should be granted. Your options include:
    • Read: Users can view the fields and values they have been assigned but they cannot edit or change them. If a role is not given read access to a data collection, they will not be able to see the data collection on a matter of this type.
    • Write: Users can both view fields/values as well as edit them. 
    • Delete: Users can view, edit, and delete data entered for the data collection. 

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