A client of mine decided to perform a little summer house cleaning > deleting duplicate records in the company CRM system. Having correct contact information is the key of having reliable CRM system.

In CRM 4.0 Microsoft introduced new feature called duplicate detection, which queries you database in search of duplicate records. The feature is somewhat limited but it can help you speed up the whole process. Here are some tips for running duplicate detection correctly. In this example I will describe how to setup account duplicate detection.

Two accounts are duplicates if (Figure 1):

  • if they have the same name and
  • if they have the same city/state/country

If your business operates on national or international level, you do not want subsidiaries to appear as duplicates. In different cities there will also be completely different companies with the exactly same name

  • if they have the same status

This is VERY important: when you perform Merge operation of two duplicate records, one record’s state will be changed to Inactive State – you do not want this one to show on your report when you run it again.

duplicate detection rule
Figure 1. – Sample duplicate detection rule

When you are running the report, run it against active records. This is important because CRM never deletes your data. When you merge two accounts, one will be deactivated, so you do not want this one to appear as duplicate anymore.
As I said before, duplicate detection is not perfect but it will help you to start with this process. I already wrote some articles on how to enhance duplicate detection, so you should check Part 1 and Part 2 for more information.

duplicate detection wizard
Figure 2. – Sample duplicate detection wizard

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