Managing Duplicate Records Within Your Data

Managing Duplicate Records Within Your Data

Duplicate records: we all have them and we all hate them! Duplicates can be a huge burden. Just a few of the many examples of harm caused by duplicates include:

  • Hindering accurate reporting and data analysis
  • Causing confusion and frustration among users
  • Difficulties in marketing and communications efforts

The struggle with duplicates is real and it’s an ongoing, never ending battle. So why bother fixing them?

Introducing the Salesforce Solution:

Salesforce has invested a great deal of effort in providing a fully functioning duplicate management solution. It wasn’t too long ago that the only Salesforce solution for managing duplicates was purchasing a pricy app and devoting a lot of time and resources into managing your duplicates. Now you can do it all at once using out of the box, native Salesforce functionality.

It’s a very simple process…the first step is to create a matching rule. Salesforce allows you to set up custom rules to capture duplicates using the standard and custom fields that a Salesforce user uses every day. Simply tell Salesforce what you consider to be a duplicate (i.e. if they have the same name and email address then they are a duplicate). To take it one step further, Salesforce offers a variety of matching “types”. Fuzzy logic allows for slight variations in spelling. First Name logic allows for matching of Proper Names and Nicknames (i.e. Johnathan and John). Other matching types include Street Address matching, Zip Code matching, Phone Number matching, and more.

Step two is create a duplicate rule, which combines your matching rules with additional logic. What do you want to happen if a duplicate is detected as a user is attempting to manually insert a record? Want to block that duplicate from being inserted? No problem. Want to present a warning but still allow the user to bypass that warning? No problem. Simply want to flag that duplicate for review? It can all be done.

Step 3: monitor your data. You’ve defined your duplicate rules, but unfortunately it’s not quite as easy as sitting back and letting Salesforce do all the work. You should instantly notice fewer duplicates entering your system once these rules are in place, but the ones that do come through will still have to be merged. Use Salesforce reports to monitor records flagged as potential duplicates and use the built-in merging tools to merge the duplicate records together. I highly recommend making this a part of your normal routine. It’s very easy to clean up one or two duplicates at a time as they trickle in, but much harder to maintain if you allow them to build up.

That’s all there is to it. With these simple steps you are now ready to reap the benefits of clean data. If you want to talk to one of our rock-star consultants about cleaning up duplicate records for you or your company, reach out to Chris Verbracken or call 612-200-0846.


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