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TOPIC: Finding Duplicate Records

Finding Duplicate Records 1 month 1 week ago #728

  • patrick20k
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I expect this one to be most useful for IRC/IMC users, but it will work for LBPHs as well!

Do you have duplicate student or requestor records? Computers are great at helping to find exact matches, but they don't see any problem with having a William Smith, a Mr.William Smith, and a Bill Smith.

Here's a method for turning those up (it takes a smidge of Excel know-how but nothing too complex):

  1. Run a Query (magnifying glass icon or Ctrl+Q) for:
    Patron Type - Begins - S (for students, R for requestors, or as needed)
    Main Status - Equals - A
  2. Press Begin Search. If there are a lot of records, this may take a little bit--the results window will show you a count of records as well as a list.
  3. Use the Export to Excel button (bottom right of the screen, an X with an arrow). Increase the number of records to export to exceed the count of query results and select Export All Fields (if you do not track birthdates, 'visible fields' may have everything you need).
  4. Again, it may take a bit while everything is collected, but Excel will open with all of the results. Go through and delete the many columns you do not need.
    I recommend that you keep: Last Name, First Name, Address (if used), and Birthdate (if used), but feel free to hang onto any that may be useful in telling apart two people with similar names.
  5. Sort the spreadsheet by Last Name, then First Name. Highlight the Last Name column and use the Conditional Formatting button to highlight duplicates.
  6. You can now scroll through the spreadsheet watching for highlighted last names, and comparing the other columns to see if you have a likely duplicate! Save the spreadsheet if you want to work at it a little at a time between other tasks.

I hope this helps! If you have any questions, give us a shout B)
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