Bulk Merge for Contact Integrity: Identifying and Deleting Duplicate Contacts With Ease

Bulk Merge for Contact Integrity

Overview 

An international nonprofit organization was struggling with the unwieldy number of contacts in its database. It specifically possessed 3,569,188 separate contacts. The initial analysis revealed that 33,742 of these entries were duplicate contacts. 

The Organization’s Problem 

This nonprofit needed a way to efficiently delete its duplicate contact data. The goal was to streamline the organization’s contact database and improve the integrity of its data set. But combing through millions of contacts manually would be a complicated, time-consuming process.  

The Organization’s Decision 

The nonprofit group decided to consult Astreca’s experts. With their help, the organization was able to successfully deploy the Bulk Merge app. Bulk Merge leveraged advanced algorithms to detect duplicates and flag them for removal. Data technicians then carefully combed through the flagged entries before they were permanently deleted.  

Business Challenges 

Duplicate contacts present a serious challenge for just about every large organization. This particular nonprofit group had noticed that duplicate contacts were leading to errors in communication, inefficient business practices, and an overall negative experience for both employees and clientele.  

In fact, the very outreach efforts that the nonprofit relied on were negatively impacted by this data problem. Consequently, the process of detecting and merging duplicate contacts became a necessity. 

The nonprofit had such a vast contact database, numbering in the millions, that properly detecting and merging the contact information required specialized expertise. One of the primary concerns was maintaining the integrity of the database.  

In order to create unique, accurate records for every contact, the organization needed to make sure that only true duplicates were merged and that no important contact information was lost in the process. With such a large data set, the only acceptable solution was to use a scalable automated process, namely the Bulk Merge app. 

After using the app, experts carefully reviewed the results to ensure that the process had maintained maximum data integrity. This type of review is best done by data technicians who are familiar with the way the Bulk Merge app functions. 

By bringing in the expertise of an outside consulting firm, the nonprofit was able to satisfactorily handle all of its business challenges. 

Technical Challenges 

The process of using the Bulk Merge app for managing duplicate contacts has to be tailored to an organization’s unique starting place. This means the best way to handle technical challenges differs from one client to the next. The specialized attention to detail that’s required was one of the key reasons that the nonprofit felt compelled to seek out Astreca’s expertise.  

Common technical challenges related to contact data deduplication include: 

  • Batch processing: The most efficient way for large organizations to handle their extensive databases is to deal with them in bulk instead of doing so entry by entry. This requires finding or designing a tool that’s uniquely suited to the organization’s data set. For example, the Bulk Merge app is able to take into account all of the distinct systems that are initially managing the contact data.  
  • Checkbox tracking: Contact data can be maintained in a number of distinct formats. The system that an organization uses for its duplicate detection and deletion process needs to have an accurate way of tracking all existing data, regardless of its format in the source data set. 
  • Credential management: It’s crucial for organizations to maintain the proper credentials associated with each contact throughout the transition process. A failure to do so could lead to serious technical and ethical issues for everyone involved. The best way to do this will differ from one client to the next. With expert help, the Bulk Merge app is capable of adapting to specialized credential management needs.  
  • Data volume and scalability: Ideally, the process should be able to handle the organization’s data regardless of the size of the data set. Throughout the multiple phases of testing, the process should function appropriately when analyzing both subsets of the data and the entire data set. Fortunately, the Bulk Merge app is able to function at a wide range of scales. 
  • Error handling and logging: After the testing stages are complete, it’s essential to have experts manually check the app’s work and log any issues. This way, maximum data integrity is maintained, and problems are addressed as soon as they arise. This is the best way to ensure that important data isn’t lost in the duplicate detection and merger process.  

All of these issues need to be considered and adequately addressed before an organization can be confident in its contact management solution.  

Solutions 

Astreca’s data technicians were able to craft a plan that uniquely fit the nonprofit’s needs. According to the client, the Bulk Merge app saved countless man-hours as the organization switched its data management system over to Salesforce. The solution was cost-effective and accommodated the client’s related records and unique sandbox testing environments.  

The first stage of testing resulted in some missing elements in the organization’s data. Astreca’s experts communicated clearly with the company and were able to craft a new plan that accounted for all of the missing pieces.  

Results 

In the end, the nonprofit’s duplicate detection and merger process was a complete success. There was a significant reduction in duplicate contact entries. Specifically, 33,742 duplicates were detected within the data and subsequently deleted.  

This led to an overall improvement in the organization’s data quality and a more efficient system for managing contacts. The contact database is now less confusing for employees to navigate. Most importantly, it ensures that the right people are getting the information they need.  

According to the client’s review, Astreca’s experts were straightforward communicators who took the organization’s needs into account at every step in the process. They were able to produce the condensed contact data set within the promised time frame at a reasonable, well-defined cost.  

The decision to use the Bulk Merge app was the right one for this large nonprofit organization. It saved the organization from the headache of manually managing the process on its own. With proper support throughout the entire process, the nonprofit now has a contact database that’s ideally suited to the organization’s needs. 

If you’re interested in more information, please contact us at [email protected]

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