How to Find and Merge Duplicates
With the Find duplicates tool you can merge the data in entities in the modules such as Accounts, Contacts, Potentials, Products, etc. This tool is located in the menu bar of the module (see the picture below).
In the Options section you can determine, what happens when the duplicates are merged.
The Match empty fields option makes the search also include entities which don’t have any data in the Match fields (more information below). For example if you choose to match entities by their email addresses and the “Match empty fields” is not checked, the entities with empty email address fields are not included in the search.
With the Delete merged entities option you can choose to either save or delete the duplicates after you have merged the data. You can choose whether you only want to copy information between entities (and keep both of the entities) or save only one of the entities when the search and merging of duplicates is done.
Update relations option is set as a default and merges also all the background data of the duplicates to the saved entity. For example the Accounts duplicates’ contacts, tasks etc. are saved for the same entity.
Run save formulas performs background calculations if these have been created in the CRM. These background activities are formulas made by the CRM supplier (they are not e.g. dynamic field formulas).
In the Match fields section it is determined in which fields the search for duplicates is done. There is no minimum or maximum amount of fields you can select. The options under Match fields are based on the module in which you are making the search for duplicates.
Select the Merge Type
After the search is done, the system asks you to select the way the duplicates are merged (see the picture below). The window also shows how many duplicates were found. The options for merging are automatic and manual merge. In the automatic merge the whole process is done by the options automatically, whereas in the manual merge you get to see the individual duplicates and select which entities and which data is used in merging. In the automatic merge the entity with the smallest entity_id – in other words, the oldest one – is the entity in which all the data from other entities are merged to.
The selection of the manual merge opens a view similar to the picture below.
On row level, the data which will be saved is marked with green. The saved data can be changed either by field by field, by clicking the field which will then turn green, or if the entire other row needs to be saved, by selecting the Select all function at the left-hand side of the entity.
With the Target button you can change the entity which the data is merged into. By default, this is the entity with the smallest entity_id (the oldest entity).
It is possible to save the individual entities even if the data is the merged. This is done by checking the Keep checkbox of the entity you want to save. If you want to save all of the entities, instead of checking the Keep checkbox on every entity, it is easier to leave the Delete merged entities option unchecked when starting the Find duplicates –tool (see earlier).
Every duplicate pair (or group) have buttons Done and Skip for either merging the particular pair after selecting the data to be saved, or skipping them, when no changes are made.
The buttons above and below the table can be used for broader functions for several duplicate pairs (/groups) at a time:
- Merge shown: merge all the entities shown. After this function, the entities from the next page are shown (if all the entities were already shown, the merging process is completed and the window closes automatically).
- Skip shown: skip the entities shown. After this function, the entities from the next page are shown.
- Cancel merge: cancels the whole process and exits. This function also cancels the merges done manually before the cancellation.
- Skip rest: skips the entities left on the list without making any changes. The manual merges done before this function stay valid.
- Auto merge rest: merges the entities left on the list automatically by the settings determined in the previous view (cf. the automatic merge, which operates completely this way).
NB. When handling rows either one-by-one or by view, the changes are not effective immediately. In practice, the merging and skipping happens for all results at once when the needed actions are known for every result. This is confirmed by a summary pop-up window. Exiting the view before this summary is shown will cancel all actions made so far in the view.