Merge purge is the process of combining multiple records in a database or list while simultaneously locating or compiling duplicates and removing the undesired records.
The essence of the merge purge software is to create a list that will eventually contain only unique names and addresses without any duplicates. This is particularly important when a business or organization is trying to create a huge mailing list to market their goods and services.
A merge purge software application will clean up the data set to achieve the following benefits:
* More efficient database performance leading to improved productivity
* Cost savings due to the elimination of duplicate mailings
* Improved customer satisfaction
Here is a simple illustration of what may occur in a typical merge purge exercise.
First, examine the following customer records:
ID Customer Name Company Phone City
256 Bob Smith IBM Corp 761 111 216 New York
577 Robert Smith Intl Business Machines 761 111 216 New Jersey
742 William James HP Corp 817 216 761 Georgia
891 Bill James Hewlett Packard 817 216 774 Georgia
A hypothetical company ABC that desired to build up a big mailing list of prospects ended up with these records in their new database. They however desire to remove all duplicates so that they can save money on their mailing and maintain a good customer relationship with their prospects and clients.
Merge Purge Software
A merge purge software exercise will involve the creation of a duplicate search query to show records that have exact matching values on fields like the customer name and phone. The first two records may easily be detected as duplicates since the phone numbers are exactly the same. But records with ID numbers 742 and 891 will not easily be detected. This will therefore result in two mails being sent to the same person.
Another look at the company field shows that the acronyms for the company names are used in two of the duplicate records. IBM and HP are acronyms. This further complicates the process of performing a merge purge operation on the database or list. It also shows the importance of standardization and formatting of data items in any database.
In order to make the process of cleaning up the data set and improving data quality efficient, merge/purge software have been developed to effectively handle this process. Some of the key features of excellent merge purge software include:
* The use of fuzzy matching techniques to identify the percentage of similarities between probable duplicate records
* Effective identification of acronyms (e.g. HP for Hewlett Packard)
* Cleaning up and standardization of data before they are examined for duplication
* Application of massive libraries for standardization of names, states etc (e.g. Bob for Robert, Tom for Thomas etc.)
It is therefore pertinent to make use of merge purge software to efficiently standardize your data and eliminate duplicates.
That was a short discussion on merge purge – the process of combining data sets and removing duplicates from databases and lists. The benefits of performing a merge/purge exercise on your marketing databases were highlighted. A brief illustration was also given to show the importance of using merge purge software to efficiently carry out this important task.
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