How To Manage Duplicate Records in Salesforce

Duplicate Management in Salesforce

Poor data quality is one of the major reasons why users avoid using a system. Duplicate records fall in that category. And the last thing you want is for your users to question the validity of the data they rely on. Any Salesforce org is home to hundreds and thousands of records created by tens or hundreds of users. In such an environment, it is more than likely that users may create records that already exist. This will result in poor user experience and poor customer experience.

Thankfully, Salesforce has an out of the box feature to identify, alert and handle duplicate records. This is called “Duplicate Management”. The concept of duplicate management is fairly simple.

  1. Firstly, define a set of rules for identifying records as duplicate. This is called “Matching Rule“. You can use Salesforce out of the box rules (available on lead, account & contact) or create your own rules. 
  2. And secondly, define the rules on what should happen if the record is identified as a duplicate based on the matching rule. This is called “Duplicate Rule“. In this, you can choose to just warn the user and still allow them to create/edit the record or you can choose to block the user from creating /editing the record. 

While the above rules will help you identify the duplicate records at the time of adding/editing the record in real-time, you can use the following to report on the existing duplicates in the system

  1. Duplicate Record Sets
  2. Using Custom Report Types
  3. Running Duplicate Jobs (available only in Performance & Unlimited Editions)

Ok, that’s enough talk. Now let’s see this in action with this step-by-step guide

References & Useful URLs

  1. Trailhead Module – Duplicate Management (45 minutes) – https://trailhead.salesforce.com/content/learn/modules/sales_admin_duplicate_management
  2. Manage Duplicate Records (10 minutes) –  https://help.salesforce.com/articleView?id=managing_duplicates_overview.htm&type=5
  3. Manage Duplicates One at a Time (10 minutes) – https://help.salesforce.com/articleView?id=manage_individual_duplicate_records.htm&type=5
  4. Manage Duplicates Globally (5 minutes) – https://help.salesforce.com/articleView?id=manage_duplicates_globally.htm&type=5
  5. Customize Duplicate Management (5 minutes) – https://help.salesforce.com/articleView?id=duplicate_prevention_map_of_tasks.htm&type=5
  6. Take Control of Duplicates—Use Duplicate Rules and the Potential Duplicates Component (3:14 minutes) –https://youtu.be/r2j5mwekX1s 
  7. Use Matching Rules to Hunt Down Duplicate Records (3:28 minutes) – https://youtu.be/zy0u5fKBft0

2 thoughts on “How To Manage Duplicate Records in Salesforce”

  1. Ramana Metlapalli

    Ashish –

    Could you clarify if in the section on Reporting on Duplicate Records, you meant to use Create Date or Birth Date. The slides 55-60 are not consistent. You don’t use this field in the report, so its hard to tell what date it is exactly and its purpose in identifying duplicates.

    Thanks again & Keep up the good work !
    Ramana M

    1. Hi Ramana,

      Thanks for pointing this out. Yes, the mentioned slides are not consistent. We have taken note of it and will correct it in our next iteration.

      I meant to use Created Date and not Birth Date.

      These dates do not have any purpose in identifying duplicates. They are just a filter criteria on the report.

      Regards,
      Ashish

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