Every church has them – duplicate records. At our church, we do everything in our power to reduce the number of duplicate records that get created, and we also try to be diligent in finding and merging duplicate records.
Our goal is to minister effectively to everyone who comes within our realm of influence – that is, those who are our guests and members. We cannot do this if we do not have the correct contact information for the people in the database.
Knowing that this can be a daunting task, we have built into BVCMS some features to help you identify and manage these duplicate records.
This is the real workhorse for finding duplicates for your entire database. You must be an admin or have the manager2 role in order to run this process. It will compare every record in the database with every other record in the database using the same algorithm used in finding records during online registrations. Click HERE to read more about how to use this great feature.
In Search Builder:
There are two conditions (on the Miscellaneous tab) that relate to duplicates: Duplicate Names and Duplicate Emails. These can be used to help you find those whose first and last names are the same and/or who have the same email address. Just because they are in the list of results, does not mean that they are necessarily duplicates. A father and son might have the same name and share an email address. You can use the Toggle Link Target to easily move between your results and the individual records to determine which are truly duplicates.
On a Person’s Record:
On an individual’s record, we have a tab for Duplicates (under the System tab). This will list the possible duplicates for that record, as it finds anyone who meets two or more of several conditions. These include first name and partial date of birth, or last name and any three of either first name, email address, birthday, phone or address, and other combinations.
We have a two-step process for merging duplicates records. The first step allows you to move basic information such as date of birth, phone numbers, etc. The second step moves all enrollments, contributions and will delete the unnecessary record. Click HERE to read about this process.
Another time, we will talk about what you can do to help prevent duplicate records.