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Merge/purge is the process of merging records from one data source or multiple data sources and eliminating duplicate records.

When combining data from multiple sources, duplicate records can appear and need to be eliminated. What is merge/purge? The goal of merge/purge is to produce one unique record that contains all of the valuable data but eliminates redundancy. This is especially critical when a business or association is attempting to create a large mailing list to market their products or services.

Many times, duplicate records contain important information and every record has a unique piece of information that should be saved. For example, duplicate customer records may contain the same name and address, but one record includes the customer’s email address and the other record includes the customer’s phone number. Advanced data-matching techniques used in the merge/purge process generate one record that retains all of the valuable pieces of data and removes the duplicated data.

Data that includes contact information often comes from multiple files that are in different software formats. If you were to use a word processor to complete the merge/purge process, you would have to change the structure of the file or reformat the text. This is a time-consuming process that tends to result in errors. Merge/purge software makes this process quick and efficient.

In addition to saving time, merge/purge saves money. Creating one standalone data record that contains all of the valuable data for each customer eliminates duplicate mailings and improves efficiency for your sales staff. This reduces costs and improves customer satisfaction.

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