Ensuring data quality sometimes seems like a never-ending cleaning task in the life of a Salesforce system administrator. The task to maintain a tidy system is a constant battle especially as system administrators encounter:
- Missing or incomplete data
- Outdated information
- Lack of data standardization
However, system administrators have a toolbelt of handy Salesforce native tools to help to battle these culprits of messy data in a system.
Specifically looking at duplicates in this particular blog post, there are various ways we can address this reoccurring issue, by looking at preventing one record at a time or tackling the duplicate problem globally.
One Duplicate at a Time
To navigate to Duplicate Management within Salesforce, go to Setup and then locate the Data section, under Administration. This is where you can find Duplicate Management related tools, such as Duplicate and Matching Rules.
Terms to Know:
- Matching Rule – Criteria to identify a duplicate record
- Duplicate Rule – Used to define when a Matching Rule should be used and what actions the system should take when a duplicate record is identified, such as shown in the screenshot below.
Matching rules use a combination of exact and fuzzy matches to be able to determine similarities between fields across Salesforce records. This detection logic helps the system know when a potential duplicate may or has occurred.
Duplicates can be detected using the Potential Duplicates component which can be used for Standard objects such as Accounts, Contacts, and Leads. Here are some examples of how the Potential Duplicates component would show on a Lightning Record page.
Once a duplicate has been identified and determined to be a true duplicate, the records can be merged to clean the data. Here are some steps to support in the merging of records:
- Choose a Salesforce record where you have seen a message that indicates a duplicate exists. To see the duplicates, click on “View Duplicates”.
- Select up to three records that you want to merge. Click “Next”.
- A master record needs to be selected from those you are merging, but you can choose which field values you want to keep when you combine the records.
- The system will ask for confirmation of your selections and will share a message that merging is a permanent update to the records.
When merging records, there are some considerations to keep in mind, such as a user working on the merging would need appropriate object-level delete privileges and there are certain combinations of records that cannot be merged, such as business and person accounts together. Here is a resource that helps to outline some additional considerations.
A Global Look at Duplicates
Looking more holistically across the Salesforce org, there are additional duplicate management tools that help to spotlight existing duplicate records and help with merging of duplicates.
Duplicate Jobs is one such tool that allows a Salesforce system administrator to detect duplicates within a Salesforce object. To locate the Duplicate Jobs function, navigate to Setup and scroll to the Data section. Similar to Duplicate Rules and Matching Rules, Duplicate Jobs functionality is housed within the Duplicate Management subsection.
To process a Duplicate Job, select New Job and identify the Object and Matching Rule that you would like to use for identifying duplicates. Click “Run” and the Duplicate Job process will kick off.
After the job is processed, a Job Summary page is displayed. Upon successful completion, a list of Duplicate Record Sets will be available. A report can also be generated to show the identified duplicate sets from the job. When clicking on the Related section within the Duplicate Record Set record, an option to Compare and Merge the duplicate records will be available similar to the merging functionality shared above.
Similar to merging duplicates, there are considerations to keep in mind when using Duplicate Jobs. For example, Duplicate Jobs functionality is meant for within object duplicate finding and is only available for Performance and Unlimited Editions. Here is a resource that helps to outline some additional considerations.
Whether prepping your org to prevent duplicates from happening before they are saved or globally reviewing duplicates within an object in the system, there are various native tools that support you in every season to clean your data within your Salesforce instance. To learn about these tools or how to handle duplicates in your org, complete the form at the bottom of this page or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.