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The Art of Deduplication

About The Art of Deduplication

sf birds

It is unavoidable and regardless of how much you would like to, you cannot make them birds. Dupes happen. If left untreated, your data can get really diluted and fractured. I recommend monthly checks. Fortunately, you have tools available to you to help limit them coming in and to remove those that make it into your Org. I am going to help you with some simple solutions that will make your deduping more zen.

Internal Salesforce Duplicate Management

You can set some lead and contact creation restrictions in your salesforce to do a fuzzy search and stop dupes before they even enter your system.

SF matching rules


Go to Setup and start here!


Matching Rules – These are used to identify likely duplicates.

Duplication Rules – These decide if you can save a record or not.


Confused? Get Help!

Salesforce provides a ton of help pages to assist in setting these up. Here are some to get you started:

Duplicate Management

Setting up your matching rules

Setting up your duplicate rules

At the very least Activate the defaults!


NPSP Contact Merge

The Non Profit Starter Pack provides a simple and effective way to merge the random dupe that gets through.

npsp merge

Search – use basic search functionality to find likely duplicates

Select – pick up to three contacts to merge

Merge – choose the main record and merge!

Bring in the Apps!

Sometimes you need to pull in reinforcements, and yes, there is a free app for that. On the Salesforce App Exchange there are many applications that are very helpful in managing your deduplication process and a few are even free! Here are two of Sputnik Moments’ absolute faves!

Consultant’s Choice:

  1. Demand Tools. Number one pick of just about everybody. Free for non-profits and one of the best apps if deduping large quantities of data. Can do a bunch of extra stuff as well. Slight learning curve and no support for the free version.
  2. Duplicate Check for Salesforce. A simple free app for deduplicating. Allows the user to setup fuzzy dupe search parameters and build duplicate sets for future merging. Great for mass merging.

Regardless of the tools you choose, make sure that your organization has a dupe prevention and deduplication process in place. This will ensure the accuracy of your data and make for much happier Salesforce Admins.