Merging and Eliminating Duplicate Records in Salesforce Is Key to High Quality Data

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To businesses wanting high quality customer relationship management, Salesforce offers “a single source of truth” and “a 360-degree view of the customer.” Clearly, the platform delivers because Salesforce is the most popular CRM in the world.

However, if a business is plagued with poor data quality, then the business will not maximize its investment in Salesforce. The problem could be with existing data that had been slowly corrupted over time with invalid, incomplete, or missing records. Another problem could be that current data creation activities in the organization are not uniform, lacking proper controls.

To address these situations, Salesforce Admins, who are ultimately responsible for the platform and its data, can develop a plan that uses enhanced data validation rules to improve data quality. Executing this plan will require the help and empowerment of Salesforce users across the entire enterprise. After all, reaching the goal of high quality data is a team effort.

The Dangers of Duplicates

One of the outcomes of poor data quality practices is duplicate data. These could be Account, Contact, Opportunity, or any number of other objects. This is when Salesforce stops being “a single source of truth.” Having duplicative and fragmented data records creates multiple, confusing sources for users. It might be too strong to say the truth becomes lies, but it certainly becomes misleading at best.

In almost all cases, the creation of duplicate records is accidental and unintended, and not the result of malice. This type of data problem affects various kinds of information gathering and storage:

Fixing Duplicate Records in Salesforce

Salesforce does offer default deduping functionality, but it is inflexible and not customizable. Admins should have the ability to customize parameters themselves—the fields being compared, the similarity sensitivity of the matching records, and the objects that duplicates are detected on. Depending on various situations, businesses need the flexibility to adjust these parameters. Admins are best positioned to set the criteria.

Once dupes have been discovered during the data entry process, users need to be notified and empowered with a range of options for resolving the problematic records. The users, not Admins, are in the best position to determine how to resolve and clean the data into its final form. Unfortunately, default Salesforce functionality doesn’t give users enough flexibility during the merging of records.

Data Quality Helper: A Better Alternative for Duplication Resolution

The 100-percent-native Salesforce app, Data Quality Helper from Passage Technology, addresses the default limitations, giving Admins and users enhanced flexibility for handling dupes. It is an important tool in improving data quality.

Once Admins configure the duplicate rule, users encounter this process:

1. Creating a Record

Creating a record
2. Duplication Notification — “Potential Duplicates Found” “If the list below contains a duplicate, select it and click the ‘Next’ button” (If the Admin chooses this configuration, users also would have the ability to decide that the records in the list are not duplicates and go through with the save, choosing “Ignore” instead.)


3. Decide How to Merge and Overwrite Fields to Improve the Record

Decide how to merge

If the user completes the merge process, the duplicate notification is resolved. On the other hand, if notifications for potential duplicates go unresolved, these warnings do not necessarily disappear—if the Admin configures the duplicate rule to now allow ignoring duplicates. Instead they could continue to be attached to the affected records, allowing for data cleanup at another time, per Admin preferences (see below).

Warning banner


Data Quality Helper App Also Offers Enhanced Data Validation Rules

If you look closely at the notifications in above image, besides the customizable duplicate record identification and correction functionality, Data Quality Helper also has an enhanced validation rules function. The notification says: ““Before an Opportunity’s stage is set to closed won, it is recommended that at least one Line Item is added to the Opportunity.” “If this Opportunity does not require a Line Item, you can continue with the save.” (This is just one of an endless number of use cases for validating data.)

Data quality can be improved by establishing validation rules that display when creating, updating, and viewing records. Admins custom-set the triggering criteria; whether rules run before or after a save, or prevent or allow a save; and the warning messages—whatever the Admin prefers. Users are notified and empowered to create or update data under Admin-preferred parameters. It’s that easy.

Better data quality is within reach. With clicks not code, the app delivers greater Admin power and flexibility than many other solutions or Salesforce’s default features. Also, a Lightning Web Component can be set up to provide an org-wide view of all identified data problems. The free app can be downloaded at the Salesforce AppExchange.

Admins spend less time and effort on fixing data and more energy on important strategic initiatives. The users, who are the ones truly closest to the affected data, get needed guidance and become more productive. A business can’t transform and grow without high quality data.

Poor quality data affects all functions in a business. Customers, revenue, and employees suffer. It gets worse with time passing, and harder to fix. How much longer are you willing to let the poor data quality damage business potential? Act now and don’t wait until it’s too late.

Learn more about Data Quality Helper or schedule a demo/consult today.

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Upgrade to Data Quality Helper Premium Edition for unlimited enhanced data validation rules, unlimited duplicate resolution rules, and priority support, plus all of the features in the Free Edition.

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