Duplicate Matching – Fun for All Ages!
Kids love games – some play soccer, while others prefer card games or puzzles. My 3 year old daughter could spend hours playing with her matching cards. It’s a game of memory where you flip tiles over and try to find matches, but she doesn’t quite understand the two player version. She concentrates intensely, sifting through the stack, then bursts out joyfully when she finds two faces that look the same. Carefully she lays the cards out to organize them until her younger brother toddles by to terrorize her. Now Dad gets to play Intervene and Distract!
As we get older, tedious matching games aren’t as fun, but Altru is hoping to change that! We know duplicate records can be more annoying than your little brother, so we’re working on new ways to prevent them from getting into your database. Makes sense, right? If you can keep them out, you won’t have to fix them later, like a firewall for bad data.
So, here’s where it starts. In the next release, we’ve added a duplicate matching tool to the Add an Individual and Batch Entry forms. If we detect a positive match beyond a reasonable doubt, we’ll go ahead and merge it with the existing record. Ok, there’s not really a legal burden of proof – it’s just a mathematical formula. It has to be very close to auto-match though. If the new record isn’t very close, mathematically speaking, to any existing record, we’ll proceed as normal, adding it as a new entry.
If we’re not sure, we’ll ask you for help, and the fun begins. You can decide to create a new record or merge the two, picking which fields to keep from each record. Pretty neat! I know someone who would like this game.
We love this feature so much; we’re looking to extend it to other areas of Altru, like auto-matching new records from Daily Sales or Online. We’re in discovery on a tool to let you review pending matches from those areas and make similar merge/add decisions for each entry. This should result in a significant reduction in the number of duplicates you have to manage.
For now, we’ll just show the possible match in a pop-up form when you try to save a new constituent that appears eerily similar to someone you already know. You will also see exceptions thrown in if we detect duplicates during batch entry, and those can be dealt with in a similar fashion. Happy matching everyone!
Check out the Altru Community to submit ideas, ask questions and network with fellow Altru users.