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The Classic Problem: Duplicate Records

Marketers know the duplicate record problem well. Multiple records for the same person or account signal that you have inaccurate or stale data, which leads to bad reporting, skewed metrics, and poor sender reputation. It can even result in different sales representatives calling on the same account.

De-duplication is the process of identifying duplicate records and merging the best data.

The less well-known problem of duplicate data fields also afflicts many companies.

This article will discuss...

  1. Duplicate data fields and what causes them
  2. How to minimize the problem
  3. How to perform data unification
  4. Recommended tools and resources for the job

1. The Emerging Problem: Duplicate Data Fields

Today, there are endless options for acquiring, enriching, and validating leads. Each option has its strengths and weaknesses, so it is common for marketers to use and explore many data sources:

  • List sellers and renters
  • Contact enrichment and email validation services
  • Content-based lead generation services
  • Advertising and social selling platforms
  • Predictive lead sourcing and scoring services
  • Event organizers

A lead record typically originates from one source and then gets validated and enriched by multiple sources over time. After each enhancement effort, marketers usually keep both the old and new data, with the intention of auditing the quality of the new data before unification, and reverting to the old data if necessary.

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image of Ed King

Ed King is the founder and CEO of Openprise, a data orchestration SaaS company. He has over 20 years of experience in enterprise software.

Twitter: @ekwking

LinkedIn: Ed King