When data is imported via Upload Dataset or Form Submission, Slate evaluates the following elements to determine if the incoming data matches an existing record:
- First Name + Last Name + Email address
- First Name + Last Name + DOB
If (1) or (2) match an existing record exactly, the imported record matches an existing record. Additional nuances of the process include that IDs are evaluated first when matching, and a discrepancy on middle name of each record despite the First + Last + DOB criteria.
Slate provides a powerful system for identifying and consolidating duplicate records. With this power must come caution as well as an understanding of how Slate identifies duplicates and how Slate merges these records.
When two person records are identified in Consolidate Records as duplicates, Slate determines the "higher quality" master record using the following qualities, in decreasing order of significance:
- Application submitted
- Application started
- Directly updated from a form or event
- Imported from a search list
Use the Refresh All button to have Slate find potential duplicate records that are new since the last refresh. If after clicking Refresh All you still don’t see the student record you expect to be there, you may need to update the record so that Slate runs its matching rules on the record again. Any record that hasn't been updated for 90 days falls out of view of the Consolidate Records tool.
When two records are merged, data such as schools, interactions, and addresses and device (emails) data from the alias record are merged into the master record. Therefore, you can see more than schools duplicate in the person record. In some cases, you might see two of the same email address and phone number appear due to this merge, if both the alias and master had the same address on file. However, a nightly cleanup script tries to clean that up for you. The devices and addresses associated with the master record are given higher priority.
In addition, the School section in Consolidate Records was created to give you the opportunity to easily identify and clean up duplicate schools on the same person record. If you merge two schools that are identical on a person record, one school will remain. If the alias has conferred, start, and end dates, and the master doesn't, then the master record should inherit those dates.
When you merge two records, Slate always preserves the name of the master record without incorporating any components of the alias name, such as a middle initial or preferred name. This behavior is only applicable to the name field. Data from other standard fields and custom fields goes to the master record, with some exceptions for custom fields when the master record has an active application.
The best course of action to include preferred or middle name is to make sure that the name is already on the master record before the merge takes place.
There is a way to consolidate records directly via the student record by using the following steps:
- Go to the Profile Tab > Account
- Merge Account > Merge Into (master account)
- Select Merge
We caution against merging records that don't otherwise show up in consolidate records, since there may not be enough data to determine if these two records should be combined.
Person records, Dataset records, and School records that have been recently merged are eligible for the Unmerge function, which is found in the Recently Merged section of Consolidate Records. Exercise caution when merging records, since the Unmerge button IS NOT an Undo button; it is simply the first step of the process to recreate the Alias record when records are erroneously merged.
Sometimes, there are legitimate reasons for “duplicate” schools to appear on a single student’s record. Perhaps they attended the same school for an Undergraduate degree, as well as for a Graduate degree. However, if a student record has two identical school records (this could be the result of previously merging two student records, each with the same school), then these school records should appear in Consolidate Records and be eligible for merging. If you come across a record with the duplicate school listing and they are not appearing in the Consolidate Records Tool, you should be able to open one of the school listings and select Save to get it picked up by the Consolidate Records tool. Just remember to select the Refresh button when you go back to the Consolidate Records tool.
- Every single record - A list of every single record that has ever been merged at any point in time within your database can be found within Database >> Standard Query Library >> Merge Records.
- Recently mergeds - Note that a list of recently merged records can be displayed in Consolidate Records >> Recently Merged.