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Managing Duplicates

This article explains the case where multiple contact records can exist with the same name or e-mail address.

How Did I End Up With Duplicates?

When new contact records are created, Oncord will automatically merge with existing contacts, but only when it is safe to do so:

  • Automatic merges must not overwrite data.  The new contact must have the same information entered as an existing record.
  • Automatic merges must be secure.  The merge must not compromise the security of accounts by overwriting passwords or other sensitive information, granting access to data that the user did not enter.

There are many situations where you may end up with duplicate contact records such as:

  • The import of data from a CSV file (note merge options are presented during the import process);
  • The import of data from connected third party applications; and
  • Customers re-registering accounts.

Companies

Contacts in Oncord can either be of type 'Individual' or 'Company'.  An Individual is a person, and a Company is a non-person (such as a company, business or trust).

When importing data from third party systems, Individual contacts are often linked with Company records via their relationships (such as an Employee relationship).

Sometimes both Individuals and Companies can have the same e-mail address.  This is fine.  While it may initially feel like your database is 'full of duplicates', it is a good thing to have both company and individual records in Oncord.

Duplicate E-mails and Marketing

When sending an e-mail marketing message, Oncord builds a 'list of recipients' to send to for the chosen conditions.  When building this list, it will filter it to remove any contacts with duplicate e-mail addresses from the list of recipients.  So when you have two contact records with the same e-mail address, that address will only receive one message.

When sending and Oncord filters out duplicates, the chosen contact record will be determined as follows:

  • Individuals are always chosen over Company records.  This allows messages to be personalised with first and last names.
  • The oldest contact record will be chosen.  This is because it normally contains more profile information than a newer duplicate record.

When an e-mail address is 'unsubscribed', all other contact records with the same e-mail address will also become unsubscribed.

The above rules also apply for SMS marketing, but is based on the user's mobile number.

Find Duplicates Tool

To help keep your database clean, Oncord has tools to Find Duplicates.  Navigate to Customers > Contacts > ... > Find Duplicates.


This tool allows you to see:

  • Duplicates: Contacts who have the same type (individual or company), name and e-mail address
  • Same E-mail: Contacts who have the same e-mail address
  • Same Name: Individuals who have the same first and last name, or Companies that have the same name

Merge Tool

Once you have identified two or more duplicate records, tick them on the left, then click Merge.


A three step process is then presented:

  1. Select Contacts - validate that these are the contacts you wish to merge.
  2. Select Fields - when the data differs, choose the correct data.
  3. View and Manipulate Result - this is how the final merged record will look.


You can then merge the contacts.  All groups and history in the contact's Activity Feed will be merged.

Auto Merge

Oncord also has an "Auto Merge" tool which can be found on the top right of the "Duplicates" tab.


This tool will merge all of the contacts in the first Duplicates tab, using the default fields during the use of the Merge Tool above.  It is an automated process equivalent to running the Merge Tool on each set of duplicates without manipulating the result.