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Author: Kristenson, Joel
Last Updated: 2017-11-01
This article provides a quick walk-through on ‘normalizing’ addresses in your database so that slight misspellings are cleaned up en masse. Databases can get messy from time-to-time especially if there is a lot of activity taking place – instead of going one-by-one to clean up your address records, this article shows how to fix it with a mass update.
Scenario: as users enter data into the system or people come into your database through an online donation or event sign-up it’s possible that one of the address fields was entered slightly wrong e.g. city. This will cause the drop-downs in the database to contain inconsistent data. The example below shows the city Minneapolis spelt three different ways when only one of the ways is correct:
Tip: After you clean-up the misspelled data in your drop-downs, you further cleanup your database by conforming addresses en masse as well as merging duplicate address data.
Open the Addresses list.
Run a search query by the misspelled address field i.e. City, State, Country, Street, Zipcode, etc. In my example I searched for the city “Minneapol” which should be Minneapolis which produced 10 results.
Tip: if you put quotes “” around the word it will only return exact matches which in this example was important.
Click the Edit drop-down at the top of the screen and select Set Fields….
Scroll down to the field in the list that is misspelled. Enter the correct spelling and click [OK]. In my example it was the City field.
Double-check that everything is correct and click [OK].
You’ll get a prompt when the process is finished. Click [OK] to proceed.
Run another search in the Address list by the same misspelled field (using quotes around it) and the results should equal zero. My example is below.
Repeat these steps until all the misspellings have been corrected.
Once you’re finished you’ll need to refresh the values in the drop-down menus. Navigate to Application Menu > System Manager > Settings > Update Unique Search Values (Drop Downs) and click [OK].
If you have a large database and/or you haven’t done this in a while it may take 15+ minutes for the process to complete.
Click [OK] once the process is finished.
Navigate back to the Contacts (Voters/Donors) list and verify that your drop-downs are cleaned up (if it’s not a field that’s a drop-down you can verify by formatting the column into the grid). In my example the 2 misspelled cities for ‘Minneapolis’ have been cleaned and now the correctly spelled one is all that remains.
The related resources below link to a wide variety of other useful articles and videos related to cleaning up your database.
Article: Automatically Conform Addresses
Article: Auto-Merging Duplicate Address Records
Article: Unable to Make A Change to an Address
Article: Refreshing your Address Records with Political Jurisdiction Data i.e. CD, SD, LD… (Only Applies to Customers who Live in a State we Provide Updated Voter Data For)
Article: Address Normalization (unlimited addresses per person)
Article: Address Management
Article: How to ‘Manually Merge’ Duplicate Contact Records with Drag-and-Drop
Article: How to Find Duplicate Contact Records by Identical *Primary* Email Address, and Automatically Merge them Together
Article: Find Possible Duplicates
Article: How to Print Mail-Merge Address Labels
Article: Printing Envelopes
Article: Rollback – Undo Function – Also, Tips on Viewing the Activity for Changes to a Specific Field (Requires Admin Access)
Video: Updating or Changing Data in a Field for all or Some of Your Records
Video: Households – What To Do B4 Householding!!
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