Sometimes a user may be registered multiple times in your system, often arising from multiple imports of existing records or a user registering on your website more than one time. You can use the "Manage Data" feature to find and merge duplicate records.
Basic Process to Clean up Duplicate Individual Records
- Login to the Admin panel
- Click the "Manage Data" tab in the left sidebar
- Click the "Manage and Clean Data" tab in the top navigation bar
- Click the "Manage duplicate constituents" option
- Choose a desired sensitivity option (Very, Medium, or Open) and click the "Search" button
Once you click search, the duplicate searching engine will scan your system and return the records that are deemed to be likely duplicates. When it's finished, you will see two columns. The left column always contains the Original Record - the record that was added on the earliest date. The right column will contain the record(s) that the search engine recognizes as a Likely Duplicate.
The screen will display a maximum of 100 records at a time, so if you have more than 100 duplicates you will only be able to clean up a maximum of 100 at a time. Once you make your selections and click save, you will be presented with a new list of likely duplicates.
Additionally, you can only merge 2 individual records at one time, so if you have a record with more than one duplicate, that duplicate record will continue to be presented in the results until you have no duplicates left.
Start by confirming the potential duplicates. For each record returned, you have 3 options: 1) CONFIRM the duplicate record, 2) SKIP the record, or 3) designate the record as NOT A DUPLICATE. To confirm a duplicate record, simply check the radio button next the name in the right column.
Addressing Data Conflicts:
All data from the duplicate (right hand) record will be merged with the original (left hand) record.
Any data that is populated in the duplicate record that is *not* present in the original record will be merged into the original record.
However, where a conflict exists between data in the duplicate and the original record, the information that will be lost upon merging the records is displayed in red. (See above)
The system will not move data to another field. For instance, if you have 2 different email addresses in the personal email address field, then the email address from the duplicate record will be lost upon merging. To avoid this and save both email addresses, you must open either the duplicate record or the original record and moving the email address (in this example) to an alternate field (other email for example). This will effectively remove the conflict in the data since the corresponding data fields are null and therefore automatically appended.
Proceeding through de-duping:
Confirm all the records as appropriate and click "Save" at the bottom of the page. After clicking Save, you will automatically be presented with a new set of remaining duplicate records (up to 100).
When you click Save Changes, the system will take all the records on the right that you confirmed and merge them into the original records on the left.
What to do when we want to keep both addresses? In some case, you might have a PO box as the address for one record and a street address for the duplicate and you want to keep both of them but since both of them are the in the primary address field for two different records, you can't keep both of them the way they are. You can easily get around this by first understanding that the system is going to merge all data from the duplicate record, including addresses, as long as that data field is blank in the target record. So if you have, for example, a PO Box in the duplicate record, then you could click the record and move that PO Box to the mailing address field. As long as there was no mailing address data in the target (keep) record, then when you merge records, you would end up with a record with both a street address and a mailing address. The key is to (a) understand that data is moved if and only if that corresponding data is empty in the target record and (b) to edit any data on either the source record or the target record ahead of processing the duplicates to position any data appropriately for merging.