Merge duplicate profiles

Sometimes, duplicate profiles are created for the same person or organization. Perhaps the contact information used on a website form doesn't exactly match the name listed in a person's Facebook account. Or another person logs into your website with Twitter and an event attendee list is imported. When merging profiles, the primary profile exists when the merge completes and the secondary profile is merged into the primary profile. There are two ways to merge: potential matches and manual merge.


Potential matches

NationBuilder will suggest profiles that may be duplicates once a day. You can start reviewing potential matches from People > More > Potential matches.

navigate to potential matches

Once you click on the words "Potential matches," you'll be taken to a screen to review them:

Begin reviewing potential matches

Click the button "Start reviewing potential matches." If there is more than one potential match, they will be displayed in random order.

How potential matches are displayed

There are 3 options with potential matches:

1. Click the "Yes, this is the same person" button to merge the profiles. If the profiles contain different information in the same field, you'll be asked to resolve the conflict.

2. Click "No, this is not the same person" button and the profiles will be removed from the automated matching process.

3. Click "Skip" if you are not sure whether the profiles are duplicates. The profiles will return to the group of potential matches. 

Remember a single profile can only have one Twitter account and one Facebook account. If a person has two Twitter accounts, they must be maintained in separate profiles.

When potential matches are suggested

Automated suggestions are created in the following scenarios:

  • Two profiles have the same name. One has an email address and the other profile does not.
  • Two profiles have the same name and different email addresses. A single profile can have up to four email addresses.
  • Two profiles have the same name. One has a Facebook account while the other profile does not.
  • Two profiles have the same name. One has a Twitter account and the other does not.
  • Two profiles have the same name. One has a Facebook account and the other has a Twitter account.

All possible matches for a profile will be suggested. 

In the potential matches menu, suggestions are shown randomly - skipping a potential duplicate will put that profile back into rotation. Leaving a record and then going back to the potential matches section does not resume with the last match shown - a random match will be displayed.

If there is a discrepancy between names on suggested merges, you can pick the correct name in the "resolve conflict" menu. This menu is only available when a conflict exists.

Clicking "skip" on one potential match will skip the remaining suggestions for that profile.

The profile where the automated suggestion merging occurs is considered the primary profile. The information in a primary profile is assumed to be more accurate than the information in the secondary profile. Some data from the secondary profile may be lost when the profiles are merged. 

A person cannot be merged with an organization. If the profiles represent the same entity, edit the profiles so that they are the same type of record.


Manual merge

If you know that two profiles represent the same person or organization, you can manually merge them. 

Decide which profile has the most correct information (up-to-date addresses, phone numbers, etc.). This more accurate profile is the primary profile. You'll want to merge the secondary profile into this primary profile. 

Go to the secondary profile and view Merge duplicates > Manual merge

navigate to manual merge duplicates within a profile

Click on the drop-down menu below the statement "Is this a duplicate? Find the person to merge into."

This drop-down menu includes all profiles in your nation. Find the correct primary profile by typing in:

  • Full name
  • Email address
  • Twitter handle, beginning with "@"

When the correct primary profile is displayed, press enter.

Then click on the "Merge records" button.

Remember: when manually merging profiles, the profile you want to keep is not the profile where you perform the merge.


Primary vs. secondary profile

When merging profiles, if data exists in both record the information in the primary profile is retained and the data from the secondary profile is deleted. The primary profile is the profile that will exists when the merge completes. When reviewing potential matches, the primary profile is the profile you are viewing. When creating a manual merge, the merge happens in the "Merge duplicates" section of the secondary profile. In a manual merge, the primary profile is the profile being merged into--the profile selected from the drop-down menu.

Details on the merge process:

  • The primary profile ID will be the NationBuilder ID once the merge completes.
  • The secondary profile ID will never be used again in your database.
  • When completing a potential match, i.e. automated suggestion, conflicts in the following fields are resolve by the control panel user approving a potential match:
    • Name
    • Twitter
    • Facebook
    • Email: if the combined profile would contain more than four total addresses
    • Phone number
    • Mobile phone number
    • Work phone number
    • Recruiter
    • NBEC GUID (a unique ID connected to a profile imported from the NationBuilder Election Center)
  • When completing a potential match, all other fields retain data from the primary profile. If data does not exist in the primary profile, data from the secondary profile is retained.
  • When completing a manual merge, primary profile data is always retained. No conflicts are resolved in a manual merge before it completes.
  • Once a secondary profile is merged into a primary profile, conflicting information that existed in the secondary profile is permanently and irrevocably deleted.

Unique identifiers

Organization profiles


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