Finding d-d-d-d-duplicate addresses
While a list or database containing addresses can be highly valuable to you or your business, it can quickly run up your costs if there are duplicates and you don't know it. In fact a typical customer database easily contains 10% in duplicate records. Address de-duplication prevents this from happening. Address de-duplication prevents this from happening. Ask the Department of Redundancy Department; they know!
Because addresses can be written different ways, the process of defining what a "duplicate" really is, then identifying and flagging duplicate records is challenging. Fortunately, SmartyStreets makes it easy for you. Our CASS-Certified™ service, LiveAddress, will hunt down any redundant data and notify you accordingly.
The best data de-duplication services are non-destructive, meaning that your original data stays intact and no original value is lost. Instead of haphazardly destroying possible duplicates, LiveAddress will simply notify you so you can take action based on your assessment of the situation.
How to find and manage duplicate records
- Upload your file of addresses to LiveAddress for Lists.
- Download the completed file and open it in your spreadsheet program.
- Find the field named "Duplicate." If any row has a Y in this field, then that same address was found elsewhere in the file.
So then what?
If you have any duplicates, the next question is, "What do we do with them?" Well, we suggest you do any of the following things based on your situation and policies:
Examine the rows for actual duplicity. We flag duplicate records based on the address data and nothing else. To do otherwise would be volatile because it is outside our domain and makes too many assumptions about your data and de-duplication procedures. This means you need to make sure, for yourself, that the flagged rows are actually duplicates and not, for example, two different customers with different names living at the same address.
Merge the duplicate records into one. Carefully take what information you can from both records and combine it into one, being sure to delete one of the two when you're done.
Delete one of the duplicate records. Warning! This should usually be avoided to prevent accidental data loss. The safer method would be to mark one record or account as dormant or inactive.
In the end, be sure you have no more duplicates. This will save you time, money, and gray hairs, guaranteed.