Beacon

Merging records

Updated 5 months ago

You can use Beacon's merge functionality to merge several records into a single record.

Merging records is final and cannot be undone - make sure you're comfortable with what you're doing before you proceed!


Selecting records to be merged

From a list view select the records that you want to merge. You can merge up to 10 records at once. Select Merge from the dropdown.

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Beacon then validates the merge to determine if any more information is needed before the merge. If the records can be merged straight away you'll see this screen and you can go right ahead an click Merge to merge the records.

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Choosing values for fields that can't be merged

Sometimes multiple records have different values for the same field and they can't be merged. For example, if you are merging a record with a name of "Mr J Smith" and a record with a name "John Smith" we need to know which name you want to use for your new record.

The validation step determines if there are different values for the same fields across the records being merged.

If there are any fields that can't be automatically merged Beacon will prompt you to choose the values for them. Here you can see that we need to choose a name and a primary email address.

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Once you've chosen all of these fields you can click merge to merge the records.


How fields get validatated and merged

The validation process looks at each field and determines whether any of the values that are going to be merged are different. If any of the values are different then you'll be prompted to choose which value to use. There are rules for each field type that are used to determine whether any of the values are different.

When we merge records we combine all of the available fields. How we combine the fields differs depending on the type of the field.

Here we describe some of the notable rules for determining whether values are different and how we merge those values.

Name

Names are considered to be different if any part of them is different. Mr John Smith and John Smith are considered different.

Location

Locations are compared based on the post code. Locations are only considered different if they have different post codes.

When there are multiple locations available you will be prompted to choose a primary location. All other locations are then set as secondary locations.

For example:

Record 1

  • Primary location: 123 Fake Street, London, N1 5AA
  • Secondary location: 456 Fakely Way, Milton Keynes, MK3 7EH

Record 2

  • Primary location: 789 Fakington Lane, Bristol, B10 5JJ
  • Secondary location: 101 Fakeford Road, London, W1 4BC

User selects 123 Fake Street, London, N1 5AA as the primary location for the merged record.

Merged Record

  • Primary location: 123 Fake Street, London, N1 5AA
  • Secondary location: 456 Fakely Way, Milton Keynes, MK3 7EH
  • Secondary location: 789 Fakington Lane, Bristol, B10 5JJ
  • Secondary location: 101 Fakeford Road, London, W1 4BC

Note that the primary location that wasn't selected is a secondary location for the new record.

Email

When there are multiple emails available you will be prompted to choose a primary email. All other emails are then set as secondary emails.

For example:

Record 1

Record 2

User selects [email protected]m_ as the primary email for the merged record.

Merged Record

Note that the primary email that wasn't selected is a secondary email for the new record.

Phone

When there are multiple phone numbers available you will be prompted to choose a primary phone numbers. All other phone numbers are then set as secondary emails.

For example:

Record 1

  • Primary phone number: 01908 111111
  • Secondary phone number: 01908 222222

Record 2

  • Primary phone number: 01908 333333
  • Secondary phone number: 01908 444444

User selects 01908 111111 as the primary phone number for the merged record.

Merged Record

  • Primary phone number: 01908 111111
  • Secondary phone number: 01908 222222
  • Secondary phone number: 01908 333333
  • Secondary phone number: 01908 444444

Note that the primary phone number that wasn't selected is a secondary phone number for the new record.

If a drop-down list can have multiple values then all values across all of the records are merged.

If only one value is allowed then you will be prompted to choose one.

File upload

Files are always considered to be different because we don't know the contents of the file. Even if you are merging records with the same file attached to both of them you will be required to choose one file.

If a field can link to multiple records then all records are merged into this field.

If only one record can be linked then you will be prompted to choose one.

All related records are changed to point at the newly merged record. For example, if you are merging two people and they both have payments associated with them all of the payments will point to the new record after the merge.


After the merge is complete

After the merge is complete you will be returned to the list view and the newly merged record will be selected.

Remember, you cannot revert a merge!

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