TL;DR: This post delves into Salesforce's native tools for handling duplicate records, showcasing Matching Rules and Duplicate Rules with step-by-step examples. While these tools offer a robust foundation, limitations suggest that larger organizations with intricate data requirements may find additional value in third-party deduplication solutions for a more comprehensive approach.
Even in the most pristine Salesforce setups, duplicates lurk. Let’s examine how Salesforce itself can help you manage this tricky part of data management. To begin, let’s discuss duplicate rule and matching rules. In Salesforce, Duplicate Rules and Matching Rules are both used to manage and identify duplicate records. However, they serve different purposes.
Duplicate Rules are used to prevent the creation of duplicate records by setting up criteria and actions that control whether a new record can be saved based on identified duplicates. On the other hand, Matching Rules define the criteria used to compare records and identify potential duplicates within Salesforce.
A Matching Rule is utilized to compare records and identify duplicates. It can be specified within a duplicate rule or job to compare records within the same object (e.g., leads) or across different objects. For instance, it could compare leads to detect duplicate contacts. Typically, a matching rule comprises an equation that dictates how fields in two records are compared. The criteria set on these fields determine the breadth of what constitutes a match.
Efficiency in the matching process is achieved through indexing and algorithms. Once activated, a matching rule applies one or more match keys to existing records. This means the rule only identifies duplicates among records sharing the same match key. Any records lacking a shared match key are not considered duplicates, and the matching algorithms do not analyze them. This indexing enhances performance, resulting in a more refined set of matching candidates.
Objective: Identify duplicates based on email similarity.
Once you’ve dialed the basics of your rule, click the Matching Rules drop-down menu and select 'Create New Matching Rule'.
Salesforce allows the creation of duplicate rules. Although these have limitations, they can be effective without extra expenses, aiding in preventing duplicates. For instance, duplicate rules can be used to notify sales representatives when they're creating or modifying a record to prevent the entry of duplicate data. You can set measures to either alert them about existing duplicates or prohibit the creation of such records entirely, regardless of their access permissions.
The Duplicate Rule works in conjunction with the Matching Rule. The Matching Rule defines what constitutes a duplicate (like matching emails), and the Duplicate Rule determines what action to take when a duplicate is detected (like alerting the user or blocking the creation of the duplicate record).
Objective: Prevent creation of a new contact if one with the same email already exists.
Besides duplicate rules and matching rules Salesforce provides other methods for managing duplicate data inside of your organization. Let’s check those out:
Activate duplicate rules and the potential duplicates component to control the creation of duplicate accounts, contacts, and leads by sales reps.
Grant permission for sales reps to merge duplicate leads, business and person accounts, and contacts individually.
Run duplicate jobs to find duplicates across the entire Salesforce org.
Share job results using reports and merge duplicates using duplicate record sets.
Track progress in reducing duplicate records based on completed jobs.
Prevents the creation of multiple Accounts with the same name
Flags potential duplicates where account names differ slightly using fuzzy matching
While this is an overview of what’s possible using Salesforce native methods to tackle duplicates and would certainly be handy for a very small organization, there are some limitations that will make duplicate management using native Salesforce features only challenging:
In conclusion, Salesforce's native duplication management capabilities offer a robust foundation for maintaining data integrity and improving data quality. These features, including the ability to create custom duplicate rules and merge records, can be powerful tools in the hands of administrators and users. However, as we've seen, there are limitations. The restrictions on the number of rules, batch sizes, field matching limitations, and API call limits can pose challenges, particularly for larger organizations with complex data environments.
Remember, the goal is to maintain a clean, accurate, and useful database that supports your business processes and decision-making. Whether this is best achieved through Salesforce's native capabilities or through an external application, the focus should always be on the strategic needs of your organization and the value derived from your CRM investment.
In the next chapter, our focus shifts to the practical application of two powerful tools at your disposal: Salesforce Data Loader and Import Wizard. These free and versatile utilities serve as indispensable allies in your quest for seamless data integration and manipulation. Whether you're tasked with migrating large volumes of information or performing routine data updates, these tools empower you to wield control with precision. So, buckle up and get ready for the next section of this guide.