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  • Jasper Hortillano

Laundry Lessons for Data: Use Braze's Merge Duplicates Feature for Effortless Hygiene!

Data hygiene is a never-ending, often daunting task - just like laundry. Not long after the dirty pile is gone, a new one appears that requires sorting and washing. As with many things in life, there are two types of people in the world – those who do things reactively and those who do them proactively - and this includes data hygiene. However laundry fits into to your schedule, it ultimately requires a process to go from dirty to clean and sorted.

In a previous Brazed and Confused video, we provided a solution for the bulk handling of duplicate customer profile data via a carefully planned and multi-phased process. This will work for some who may not have dedicated resources or allocated time to cleanse the data, but for those that do their laundry more often, we’re excited to share a new Braze function.

Now, if you wanted to only update a few records at a time Braze can merge duplicate records from within the user interface via their new Merge Duplicates capability! This added feature provides the ability to remove duplicate records once a doppelganger record has been identified in a user profile search. And the best part is you can do it without getting IT involved!

As you can see, the user interface to initiate the merge is pretty intuitive. The first step is to evaluate a merge. Just take a look at the duplicate profile data by just clicking the Next > option (box A). Clicking this will allow you to ensure that the duplicate profile is qualified for the merging process. When you are ready to merge the user profiles, clicking on the “Merge duplicates” (box B) button will start the process. The merge process is fast as it invokes a Braze job to perform the merging activities for you - no dry time required.

To help illustrate how the merge process works, imagine a single customer (ex. is used in two different user profiles (Profile # 1 = User ID: 777777777 and Profile # 2 = User ID: 5555555555) For the purposes of our example, we’re going to use Profile # 1 as the target user profile because it meets the necessary marketing data element requirements and has the most robust profile. Then, we’ll classify Profile # 2 as the one to be merged into the target Profile # 1.

There are a couple of items to watch when performing the merge. The first is understanding the key attributes required in user profiles should be part of user profile unification planning. This will direct your decision-making and strip away any subjectivity. Next, is the direction of the merging action. Remember, we want Profile # 2 to be merged into Profile # 1. If Profile # 2 has an attribute not already in Profile # 1 this attribute will carry over into the target profile. In our example , Profile # 2 has an attribute "pets" with a value of "dog." After clicking on Merge profiles, the updated target profile now includes the "pets" attribute with value of "dog".

As you can see in the last screen shot, the “Multiple users match your search criteria” note no longer exists because the duplicate profile has been merged. But what if the target profile already had a value in the “pets” attribute but it is different? In cases where both profiles have the same attribute, but different values are assigned to those attributes, the target profile (Profile #1 ) attributes will be used in the unified profile.

Target Profile (Profile # 1):

Merging Profile (Profile # 2):

Resulting Unified (Merged) Profile:

That's all there is to know about on-the-fly in-GUI duplicate profile merging fun! If your duplicate profile scenarios are on a grander scale (and piling up in the corner), remember there is the strategic option to mitigate the burden shown in this video. Or, you can opt for a more programmatic approach through the Merge Users API (which we will dive into in a follow up article).

If you’ve ever considered using drop off laundry service, or have a pile of pesky duplicate user profiles, just let us know here and we'll gladly help you out. Happy laundering!


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