How Do I Find and Merge Duplicate Contact Records?

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How Do I Find and Merge Duplicate Contact Records?

Postby Vanessa » Tue Jun 14, 2011 1:34 pm

To begin looking at deduping, you'll want to check out Conrad's forum post about the matching rules which govern the duplicate list:
(Above this part of the thread is a post he left with a number of references for review)

In short, you access duplicate lists via the Find and Merge Duplicate Contacts feature:

  1. Go to Contacts - Find and Merge Duplicate Contacts.
  2. Review the rules for the given contact type for which you are looking for dups -- i.e., Household, Individual, Organization -- by clicking the Edit Rule link. (Here's where reviewing Conrad's post will help you to understand how to set the rules to find the duplicates. You'll most likely use a fuzzy rule that you can set to give you wider possibilities.)
  3. Once you've set the rule: weights and threshold, click the Save button.
  4. Click the Use Rule link to rule to have CiviCRM search for matching records.
  5. Click on the merge link for any suspicious matches. (Or select Not a duplicate for records that you know ARE NOT matches)
  6. Check any fields that need to be merged (or all fields).

    If there is a new email address or something doesn't match, you can determine whether to create a new email or address or phone, etc. when merging or overwrite the existing data.
  7. Click the Merge button to complete the merge.

    If there are a number of records for a given contact, you will have to do this multiple times as you can only merge two records at a time.

You might also want to take a gander at this article by Gregory Heller -- a CiviCRM guru kinda guy :-) -- about duplicate matching and thresholds.

You want to setup the 1) strict matching rules to make sure that anonymous submissions (i.e., your constituents filling out the donation form or signing up for an event) don't automatically become duplicates and 2) the fuzzy matching rules (or any that you want to use on the back-end) to insure that you'll find dups when you're looking for them.

You'll have to think a bit about what fields you want to look at and the weight of each those fields compared against each. Remember that the weights you assign to the fields are really 'scores' and that they must meet of surpass the threshold to be considered a match.

For example, if you have an Individual - Fuzzy rule where the Last Name = 10 and the threshold = 20 -- CiviCRM will never find a match because 10 will never equal 20.

If you make the Last Name = 7 and First Name = 5 and set the threshold to 10, you're telling CiviCRM that the Last Name doesn't guarantee a match, but that it weighs more than the First Name. If both these weights are met, they exceed that 10 'points' of the threshold and CiviCRM will return a potential match.

Once you use the rule you can click the merge link to the left of the two records that appear to be a match, verify that they are and complete the merge following the instructions above.
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