Feature release: automatically merge duplicate records

home-curve-01
July 14, 2017
5
min read
duplication records

One of the (many) benefits of Rex is that it acts as your agency’s ‘single point of truth’. It’s a watertight reference for all your data needs. Need a contact’s email address? Phone number? Last owned property? It’s all there, easily accessible in a designated record.But that kind of order can be hard to maintain. Just as the laws of entropy slowly dissolve your once tidy bedroom into what my mother calls a ‘pigsty’ - so too will your database slide into a disorderly mess of duplicate records without a spring clean every now and again.So it’s no wonder this suggestion was one of our most highly rated:

duplicate records

We’ve been trying to solve the ‘healthy database’ challenge with a level of human perseverance usually reserved for smokers with broken lighters. Finally, it’s all paid off. Introducing: Data Deduplication.

Data deduplication

There’s little doubt in our mind that you’ve probably gone to grab a client’s contact details at some point, only to find there were two (or more) records sharing the same name. Somewhere along the line someone’s accidently added a second contact record instead of simply updating the original.Hey, we’re human. We make mistakes. Thank god computers are here to fix them for us.‘Data deduplication’ allows you to quickly scrub your database of any conflicting records. It’s easy to give Rex a quick once-over and combine any doubled-up records into one. Finally - enjoy all the luxury of a perfectly pruned database without any of the tedious mopping, waxing and polishing.

Here’s how it works

Okay, so we’ve jumped into a record and we suspect it might be a duplicate.There’s an easy way to check.You’ll now notice a Find possible duplicates option on your contact records. No prizes for guessing what this does.

duplicate records

Rex will search your entire database to find any duplicates. You can easily adjust the filters to find matching names, email addresses or phone numbers - or any combination of those that suit your needs.

duplicate records

We’ve made this workflow as quick as possible for you - all while making sure you don’t accidently deduplicate records that should have stayed separate.

duplicate records

All the matching records are laid out for you so you can quickly cast your eye over them to ensure nothing untoward has slipped in there accidentally.Once you’re happy everything is in order, click of the Combine records button. Rex goes all Hadron Collider and smashes them together to make a single, clean record; all the information you’ve collected on a client in the one convenient location.That means:

  • Notes,
  • Reminders,
  • Custom fields and tags,
  • Feedback,
  • Email dropbox entries,
  • Related records,
  • Permissions attached to the listing,
  • Active mailing lists, and
  • Documents.

We intelligently copy it all across to the primary record to make sure you don’t miss a thing.

duplicate records

Done. It’s that easy. It’s like staying at a hotel. Pop out of your database for a quick stroll around the block and return to find your bed made and the mini-fridge restocked.

From the list view

The functionality is also accessible from the list view - giving you the option to use deduplication in conjunction with our fine-grained filters for even greater results.Once you’ve filtered down your contact records to find the appropriate records, select the records you want to merge, click the Combine records button in the dropdown menu.

duplicate records

(You’ll also notice you can access the Find possible duplicates feature from this menu too).

Mass deduplication

You should all know by now we love bulk actions. So if you want to go ahead and give your entire database a good scrubbing - rather than just a few records at a time - you can use the new mass record deduplication feature.Once you’ve been granted the appropriate permissions (ask your super admin user), you’ll notice a new option in the Admin menu; Record Deduplication.Here and you’ll be greeted with a little screen that allows you to choose what sort of records you want to ‘deduplicate’; people or companies.If you’re deduplicating your contacts, you’ll be given the option to search for doubled-up names, email addresses and phone numbers. Simply select the settings that apply to you, then click ‘Show duplicates’.Hey presto - Rex will search through your entire database and find any possible matching records.

duplicate records

Now you have a list of all the potential duplicate records in your entire database. Boom - it’s that easy. Now you can work through them with the same workflows as above and have a spotless database in no time.

Permissions and privileges

With great power comes great responsibility. Data deduplication can do many amazing things - but remember that once records are combined, they can’t be separated again.As such, we’re leaving this in the capable hands of your agency’s Super Admin users. They’ll have access to this functionality as of today - and the option to assign privileges to others in the agency as they see fit.There are two privileges that govern this:

  • Record Deduplication > Combine Records: This allows a user to combine records from the list view or record.
  • Record Deduplication > Mass Deduplication: This controls access to Admin > Record Deduplication section, giving the user the ability to run mass deduplications.

And there you have it; data deduplication. The perennial quest for a ‘clean, healthy database’ is finally over.Enjoy.

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