Duplicate Detection & Merging Records in Microsoft Dynamics CRM 2011
In Microsoft Dynamics CRM 2011, duplicate detection will help ensure accurate data in your database by identifying and preventing identical or similar records. It is important to have clean, reliable data in your system. There are 3 one-time tasks to set up duplicate detection in Microsoft Dynamics CRM 2011.
1. Set Microsoft Dynamics CRM 2011 to check for duplicates automatically. This enables CRM 2011 to automatically check for duplicates when a user:
- Creates a new record or updates an existing record
- Goes from offline to online after using Microsoft Dynamics CRM 2011 for Outlook
- Imports data into Microsoft Dynamics CRM 2011 with a file
2. Set duplicate detections rules. This will define the patterns that Microsoft Dynamics CRM 2011 uses to match similar or identical records. These rules can be set in accordance to your organizational needs.
- To create a duplicate detection rule: Choose which fields Microsoft Dynamics CRM 2011 should use to identify possible matches.
Note: Duplicate detection rules must be published before they can be used.
Setting duplicate detection rules can be helpful if two candidates have exactly the same email address and/or name. Each duplicate detection rule created will apply to a single entity or pair of entities. Use the Duplicate Detection Wizard to get start and for step-by-step instructions.
3. Set duplicate detection rules to run automatically on regular intervals. This task is optional, but is recommended. Duplicate detection ensures your customer information is reliable. Although this may take you a great deal of time upfront, it’s an important tool in Microsoft Dynamics CRM 2011.
As users enter data, Microsoft Dynamics CRM 2011 will automatically search for duplicate data based on the criteria of the duplicate detection rules. When Microsoft Dynamics CRM 2011 finds a potential duplicate, the user decides what they want to do with it. If duplicate detection rules are defined for an entity, a duplicate detection job can be done manually by anyone.
Since duplicate data often times has some value, Microsoft Dynamics CRM 2011 will never automatically delete any records from your system. You or other users in your organization will always be able to choose what you do with your potential duplicates in the system.
Having accurate data will help your organization be as effective as possible. After implementing duplicate detection rules, it will be significantly easier and save you time when merging records into one, rather than copy and pasting information into one record and deleting its duplicate record.
When working with records in Microsoft Dynamics CRM 2011, you may notice that two or more records appear to be very similar. Microsoft Dynamics CRM 2011 may even detect a duplicate within your system, which was explained in the first section. Although you may not have knowingly entered in two records for the same contact, it is possible that your system might contain duplicate records.
For example, this occurs quite often in a staffing agency when a candidate has a name like Jonathon Smith, but also goes by John Smith. This can cause confusion with your users if there are multiple records for the same contact. It can also affect your customers and candidates if they receive multiple emails or phone calls from your staff because of duplicate records. Removing duplicate records from your system using the Merge function can be a quick and easy step to take in order to keep your database reliable and free of duplicates.
Here are two steps you can take if you want to merge two records together.
1. Select Contact.
Once you find two contacts that seem to be duplicates or have been detected by the implemented duplicate detection, click to highlight both records. For example, two contacts have the same company name, but the names of the contact are slightly different.
2. Select Merge, located in the ribbon.
The Merge Record window will appear. This window puts both records side-by-side for comparison. The example below shows the record on the left as the master record. The master record will be the active consolidated record once the Merge has been completed, unless selected otherwise. It is important that the master record has the most accurate information of the two records.
Once you choose the master record, you now have the option to select specific information about the record that is more accurate. The example above shows the information on the right including email, website, and job title being more accurate than the information on the left, so all fields in this section are selected.
Once you are satisfied and have the most accurate information between the two records, click OK. A message will appear reaffirming your completion of the task and all of the selected information will merge into one record.
Using the Merge function in Microsoft Dynamic CRM 2011 will save you time and help maintain a clean and reliable CRM database.
Interested in learning more about Microsoft Dynamics CRM 2011 tips? Select one of the previous blog posts below.
1. Pin Favorites in Microsoft Dynamics CRM 2011
2. Email Record Links in Microsoft Dynamics CRM 2011
3. Wildcard Searching in Microsoft Dynamics CRM 2011
4. Type and Tab in Microsoft Dynamics CRM 2011
5. Bulk Editting in Microsoft Dynamics CRM 2011
6. Create Email Templates in Microsoft Dynamics CRM 2011