What is Data Deduplication?

What is Data Deduplication?

Have you wondered What is Data Deduplication and what it can do for me?

I hope that this Data Diary entry will help. I will explain what Data Deduplication is and how it can help you and your business.

In short, data deduplication is the process of eliminating copies of repeated data and merging them into one single instance, helping you achieve a Single Customer View (SCV).

What is Data Deduplication?

What is Data Deduplication?

Data deduplication (or deduping) is a data cleansing process that can be applied to your CRM system to remove or merge duplicate records.

Duplicate data records include accidental exact copies of records and multiple records that all look slightly different but are in fact the same entity. These potential duplicates can be more of a problem than exact duplicates, and they are harder to find.

Often, out-of-the-box data deduplication functions will remove the carbon copies for you but will ignore records that appear to be different but in fact the same entity. There is a high chance of data being lost after the whole record gets deleted as a duplicate. Computers are not people, and unfortunately “too different” can be as simple as a phonetic match spelled differently. Here’s an example:

Say one of your customers, Rob Dixon, has been accidentally created in your CRM system several times. How could this have happened? Let’s think about the different records:

There’s the Rob Dixon record that was initially created when you met him. But a month later, Rob Dixon calls your company and tells one of your colleagues that he has moved. Your colleague can’t find the original Rob Dixon record because they searched for a “Rob Dickson”, so they create a new record with the new home address.

Just like that, you have two different Rob Dixon’s in your CRM, with two different addresses and spellings. It is hard to tell who the real Rob Dixon is and you cannot just delete one of them, so, duplicates begin to pile up.

To clean up this sort of problem, you first need to identify all the records in your system that were the real Rob Dixon. You would then need to review them and remove records that were wrong: such as a record named Bobby Dixon that had Rob’s old home address. Next, you would need to cut the correct details out of several remaining records and paste them into one master record that details the real Rob Dixon.

Thorough data deduplication of your CRM system helps to heighten your data quality by making your records more complete, more consistent, and more accurate.

Data deduplication is an essential step in improving data quality. In a world where data is king, you must treat your data accordingly. Low-quality data can be worse than having no data at all.

Processing clean data after it has been deduped:

  • Gives your staff peace of mind knowing they don’t have to search to pull together a single view of a customer
  • Reduces your sales and marketing costs by not mailing dead addresses
  • Improves customer satisfaction by contacting them by their preferred name using their preferred contact medium, if they desire to be reached out to, and not contacting them if they have requested to opt-out
  • Builds your company’s reputation as a customer-centric well-oiled machine.

We are all human, so accidental duplicates in your data are to be expected, however, they should not be accepted as part of doing business. No matter the concentration or longevity of data duplicates, it is not too late to cure them and revive your CRM. As the old saying goes, “Prevention is better than Cure”. It is perfectly possible to sustain an efficient and duplicate-free CRM system by preventing duplicates from the outset.

Do you think data duplication is harming your business? You can always contact our data specialists to help you keep your data looking its best.

Paribus 365™ is revolutionizing the way Microsoft Dynamics 365 users manage their data – as the proven DQ for Dynamics solution, your data quality guardian for Microsoft Dynamics 365. Saving users precious time and empowering organizations to finally realize the true potential of their customer data.


See Paribus 365™, the Dynamics 365 data deduplication solution, in action by requesting a free 30- day trial, or contact us for a demo.