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4.96 Release - Merge Q&A Follow Up

Last week I held a webinar to discus merging records - our newest feature in ResearchPoint 4.96. If you didn't have a chance to attend the webinar, you can register and view a recording of that HERE

I didn't have a chance to respond to all of the questions so I wanted to do a Q&A post and provide some answers.

How do I set this up in my database?
This one we went through but I felt it was important enough to point out again. All Merge tasks are in the Prospects area of ResearchPoint. Here are the steps to start using merge:
  1. Create your Merge Configuration
    • This is what fields you want to merge
  2. Determine your Source and Target records
  3. Merge the Records

How do you decide what fields merge?
Merge follows this pattern - which is why it's important to understand who is the Source and who is the Target record:
  • If field exists on both source and target, target maintained
  • If field exists on source and not on the target, source moved to target
  • If field exists on target and not source, target maintained
An example of this is if you have an Alternate Address on both the Source and Target record AND THEY ARE NOT THE SAME ADDRESS, you will not lose this data. The Target will be maintained and the Source will be moved to Target so you can expect them both to exist afterward.

Because the field is actually MOVED (and not just copied), if you open the Source after a merge is complete, you may notice some data is no longer on the record.


Who has permission to perform a merge?
Merge is only available if you have the role "Prospect Research Manager". To see what roles you have, navigate to Administration > Application Users.


Why would I mark a record Inactive after merging it?
This is a great question. There are 2 options for how the Source record is handled - you can mark it Inactive or you can Delete it. My only thought of keeping it in the system and marking it Inactive is if you'd like an audit trail of the history of a record. Since data is moved to the Target during a merge, in many cases the Source will only be a shell of what it once was. Once you get a few merges under your belt, you may decide to just delete the records going forward.


If I choose to mark the record Inactive, will that show in the search results later?
On the Home screen search, you can click on the Advanced Options and check the box to include records marked Inactive. They are not included in these search results by default.


Is Merge mainly for users that have Raiser's Edge?
No - Merge is available for all RP users regardless of your CRM systems.


Can Merge be "undone"?
Merge cannot be undone. However, if you have Raiser's Edge Integration setup and you merge someone by mistake, you can simply pull the record from RE again.


Is there a Duplicate Check function?
Currently we do not have a duplicate checker to tell you who you might want to merge. We are working on a few different ways to do this so stay tuned!


If you have additional questions I didn't cover above, please comment or post in the forum so we can respond!!

Also, if you've used Merge since it was released and have feedback, feel free to send me a message in Community with that feedback!
Posted by Anthony Pisano on Jun 15, 2017 1:56 PM America/New_York

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Anthony, can you please provide further clarification on "Merge two constituents" located under Research Tools and setting up "Merge configurations." Thank you.
  • Posted Fri 16 Jun 2017 08:51 AM EDT
Yes Eileen - Merge 2 Constituents is the actual task that performs the merge. Merge Configurations is where you build out what you want to happen when you merge. You must create a Merge Configuration to use Merge 2 Constituents.
  • Posted Fri 16 Jun 2017 09:18 AM EDT
Thank you Anthony. I used the feature the first time today and realized that I had to create that configuration for it to work. It worked great, no issues at all!  
  • Posted Fri 16 Jun 2017 01:11 PM EDT
Hi, Anthony, do Research Lists automatically exclude inactive records? Thanks. Randy
  • Posted Thu 22 Jun 2017 04:09 PM EDT
Anthony, while setting up the merge configuration, there is the Lookup ID check off box. Would I only go in and check that if I want to maintain the old look up ID and, otherwise, leave that unchecked for my merge configuration? (Which is how I have it set now.) Thank you.
  • Posted Fri 23 Jun 2017 09:23 AM EDT
Hi Randy - Research Lists won't automatically exclude Inactive but whether you have people in the RL depends on how you populated it. If you did it from a Query and saved a selection, maybe you didn't have them in your query? If someone is active in your RL and you mark them Inactive, they will not automatically be dropped.

Eileen - the Merge Configuration for Lookup ID is simply if you want the Source's Lookup ID to become an Alternate Lookup ID on the Target. This is useful if you would still have someone potentially searching for that person by the old ID. You'll notice activating this in Merge Configuration asks you to choose an Alternate Lookup ID Type. That's what it will use when adding it.
  • Posted Wed 28 Jun 2017 03:01 PM EDT