USE CASE: Finding and Fixing Duplicate Activities in Salesforce


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Problem: Users need to identify duplicate Activities and reconcile the data

Activities is an unusual “Object” in Salesforce. It serves as an umbrella Object that actually includes a number of engagement Objects: Tasks, Events, and Calendars. It allows you to track Tasks and Meetings in lists and reports, giving you a comprehensive view of all the various interactions you may have with all Accounts, Campaigns, Contacts, Leads, and Opportunities.

However, prioritizing and managing your time becomes more difficult if duplicate records are included within an Activities Object, or if the Activities record itself has duplicates. Data may be incomplete or scattered among the different records. Calendars may not be up-to-date, and important updates may not be easily available. With so many moving parts in Activities, it is important the data is of the highest quality—and that means no dupes.

Solution: Automatically notify users of the duplicate Activities and empower them to correct the situation

One sign of potentially duplicate Activities is records with a similar subject and same start/end/due dates. This can be difficult to discover manually, without being directly notified of it when a record is viewed, created, or modified.

Using the Free Edition of the Data Quality Helper app, an Admin can easily set a similarity percentage threshold that will detect records with similar field values for specified fields, which then displays an alert on the record with the potential duplicates. In response, users can quickly review the potential duplicates’ details. If users determine action is needed, they can use the app’s functionality to merge the information from the duplicates into one corrected record.

Salesforce default functionality doesn’t allow flexible duplicate detection and customized resolution—no adjustable duplicate sensitivity settings are available, not all objects are assessed, and the merging of data on duplicate records is limited. With the added functionality of Data Quality Helper, Admins have more flexibility to design unique duplication rules that better serve organization goals across a number of situations, beyond this duplicate Activities example. (Check out the Data Quality Helper Admin Guide for step-by-step instructions on how to set up duplication rules.)

Detecting duplicate Activities

This alert says: “Potential Duplicates Found. If the list below contains duplicate records, select all of the records to merge, then click the ‘Next’ button.”

In this particular example, the rule is looking for duplicate records on the Task object using the Subject and Activity Date fields. Here, one Task is listed as a potential duplicate.

  • If any of the records in the list of potential duplicates are identified as non-duplicates, simply click the dropdown menu in the Action column and click the ‘Mark As Non-Duplicate’ menu item, or click the ‘View Record’ menu item if more information is needed about the record.
  • Once the duplicate records have been identified, select them before clicking ‘Next,’ which will start the merging process where a user can select the fields that require updates.

Note: Merge functionality is only supported on the detail page component for Activity objects (not during edit/creation process).

Ideally, you want to streamline duplicates and consolidate information into one record. However, in some situations, a user may want to mark records that look similar as non-duplicates, or maybe they would like to manually adjust field values during the merge of duplicate records (unlike with default Salesforce’s less flexible duplicate resolution functionality). The merge choices should belong to Admins, users, and the organization—not to the Salesforce platform.

The good news is that, with Data Quality Helper, unresolved duplicate issues are easy to find at any time using the ‘Data Quality Helper Issues’ home page component. The component may be used as a reminder to find and merge duplicate records when users have availability.

Besides duplicate data detection and resolution, this app also offers enhanced data validation that exceeds default Salesforce functionality. Plus, the home page component also shows all unresolved validation issues detected by the rules Admins created. Install the free version today!

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