Back to basics
Over the past couple of years I've noticed that some AMS vendors are adding in more sophisticated automated duplicate record checkers into their systems. These are not just "is this email already in the database" but much more. For example, one vendor has a tool that not only identifies potential duplicate records but also calculates the percentage likelihood of it being a duplicate!
Duplicate records are a challenge for every organization. And it will be a challenge forever. So the more tools we have at our disposal to address the issue, the better.
But like every tool, these tools are only as good as the staff using them. I've also observed over the past couple of years that many associations that know they have issues with duplicates aren't doing much about it. They say "We know this is a problem, but it's so overwhelming that we're just kind of working around it." Which said another way is "We're not doing anything about it."
Managing duplicates is a never-ending challenge for database management in general. But it's a core tenet to keeping a good, clean system. So be vigilant about managing duplicate records. And if you're not already, take advantage of all the duplicate management tools your vendor provides, and keep your system clean!
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