Perhaps the most important part of de-duping is not so much as identifying a duplicate but rather defining what a duplicate is. Each business can have a different definition for the records being duplicated, more so there are different scenarios where you may want to have duplicates for specific reason. So how does one define duplicate? Here are some of the more common ways that businesses have defined a duplicate.

Only Unique Records: Some businesses establish a policy that no duplicate can be created. Therefore, if a person tries to create a record with the same email they will not be able to do so. While, this strategy is common for contacts it is not so easy to establish for B2B company records. One way to do so for B2B is to use company’s website as a unique identifier, regardless of address and country of the record it will only be inputted once. This solution often works for smaller data sets or regional databases.

Contact Specific Duplicate Rules: 

  • Duplicates are permitted per each role – Some companies allows duplicate contact records in case where the same person has multiple roles in the company. For example, the same person can be responsible for paying the bill (finance/accounting role) and can be the main decision maker.
  • Duplicates are permitted across accounts – In some instances you may have multiple unique accounts but have the same person with the same email address to be included in each of the unique accounts. An example of this, is if the main contact person oversees multiple geographic regions say Belgium, France and Netherlands therefore you may have 3 different accounts, one account per each country.

Account Specific Duplicate Rules: 

  • Only One Account per Each Country or Region – For enterprise companies you may have an instance that the company may have a head-office in each country along with multiple locations (retail or offices). Some companies therefore, decide to de-dupe based on country or state and not have all the locations listed in their CRM.
  • Multiple Accounts de-duped by physical address – Again for enterprise companies you may want to include all possible locations retail and/or offices. If you do decide to do that, you may want to establish a parent-child relationship between head-office and all the ‘children’ other locations.
  • Duplicate Accounts based on type of an account – Some companies prefer to duplicate an account if the type of account can fall into a few different categories. For example, if the company is both a client and a partner, you may want to have the account created twice for each area.
  • Duplicate Accounts based on products purchased – Depending on how your CRM is set up you may need to include multiple accounts for each type of product or service that the company may buy from you. For example, a company can be a client on Services A but be a prospect for Services B, C and D, if you have different teams handling each product/service type you may want to have duplicates based on products purchased or can purchase in the future.

Regardless of how you define duplicates, it is important to maintain consistency and practice good data governance techniques. Finally, if you do plan to de-dupe your accounts and contacts, it is important to choose a de-duping company that can work around your definitions of duplicates. Many de-duping tools on the market, do not take into account the way you defined duplicates and therefore would flag and worst delete/merge both legitimate duplicates and not.

StrategicDB is a data cleaning company, which specializes in de-duping which is based on your duplicate definitions and therefore can handle all cases mentioned above and more. Contact us today at or 1-877-332-4923.