Sonoma Partners Microsoft CRM and Salesforce Blog

Spring '18 Puts Duplicate Detection to Work For You

Today's blog post was written by Troy Oliveira, Principal Architect at Sonoma Partners.

CRM systems are all about the data they contain and insights that they provide to users. Good data keeps an organization moving smoothly, but bad data can stop users dead in their tracks.

In Spring ’18, Salesforce has added another feather in the cap of Salesforce administrators when it comes to managing duplicate data: the Duplicate Data Job.

Salesforce already has strong means for proactive duplicate detection at the desktop or mobile application level by either completely blocking duplicate data or at the very least warning users that they are creating duplicate data. However, depending on a various number of factors such as sharing rules, Lightning Sync and API interactions, duplicate data can creep in to even the best of Salesforce implementations.

Until now, if you wanted to be able to periodically check for duplicate records, you would have to use a third party duplicate management tool. With Spring ’18, Salesforce released the Duplicate Data Job to Performance and Unlimited edition customers. This new job type allows for you to analyze your CRM data by executing a duplicate detection rule against your existing data.

Let’s take a look at how it works.

First, I’ve created a set of duplicate Contacts, all named various versions of John Doe.

Salesforce Duplicate Contacts
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Next, since my users have reported seeing a lot of duplicate data, I created a new Duplicate Detection Rule.  My new rule performs fuzzy matching against First Name, with an exact match against Last Name.

Salesforce Duplicate Rules
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Now that this is in place, users will be alerted when they try to create a contact that potentially already exists. But what about my existing data? That’s where the Duplicate Detection Job comes in to play. The next screenshots show navigating to the Duplicate Detection Job setup menu item and kicking off a new job by selecting a duplicate rule to evaluate.

Salesforce Duplicate Jobs
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Salesforce Duplicate Detect
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Depending on how much data you have, this process could take awhile. I would recommend executing these types of jobs during non-business hours, if possible, so that it doesn't risk adverse effects on your users.

Salesforce Duplicate More Jobs
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Once it has completed, you will see that the job has moved into a completed status.

Clicking into the job will give you an overview of the data that has been compared and how many potential “duplicate sets” it has found. A duplicate set is a group of records that the job has deemed could be duplicates of each other.

Salesforce Duplicate Jobs Setup
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You can then click the menu to the right side of the grid and view the duplicate sets that have been discovered.

Salesforce Duplicate Job Summary
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From here, you will be able to see the duplicates and merge records that need to be merged.

Salesforce Duplicate View
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Salesforce Duplicate Compare
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Salesforce Duplicate Merge
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Woohoo! Now I've got fewer duplicate records.

Salesforce Duplicate Related
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BUT, you’ll also notice that not all of the duplicates that I created were actually tagged as duplicate records.  This brings just a word of wisdom.  Duplicate matching is only as good as the rules that you create and the system executing the rules.  Salesforce’s fuzzy match saw that Jon and John were likely duplicates, but could not match Jonathon to either of those.  This goes to prove that duplicate management is not an exact science, it is definitely an artform and may take complex rules or attacking duplicate data from multiple angles to get it right.

I am excited to see how much customers use this in real life applications.

Topics: Salesforce