Manage and Merge Duplicate Stakeholders

Why do we get duplicate stakeholders?

Duplicate stakeholders is a common preoccupation when using stakeholder registers. In Borealis application, stakeholders can be created in many different ways, whether directly in the system, through Excel import, when sending an email with the Outlook Add-in, etc. It can happen that users create two entries for the same stakeholder or even misspell the stakeholder’s name, generating a duplicate entry.  

What is the Stakeholder Merge feature?

The Stakeholder Merge feature identifies potential duplicates based on name similarities. It also recognizes other information to evaluate the recordings to identify duplicates including nicknames, email, organization, location, address, etc. The tool allows users to merge or reject potential duplicates with just a few clicks to ensure data integrity.

Stakeholders should be merged when more than one record exist in the system that refer to the same stakeholder. This is a data integrity flaw that prevents from proper tracking of interactions with that stakeholder.

How do I manage duplicates?

First, identify duplicates using one of the following Borealis tools:

  • Locate the icon Borealis_Duplicate_icon_5.34.png in the stakeholders list (summary view only)
  • Use the "Potential duplicates" quick filter in the stakeholders list (summary and detailed)
  • Notice the potential duplicates banner in the stakeholder record
  • Access the "Duplicate management" interface through the Actions button in the stakeholder record
  • Use one of Borealis system report
  • Create a dedicated widget and/or report for duplicate management

You can also manually identify potential duplicates.

Then, identify the record you want to keep.

  • Always merge from the record you want to keep.

Finaly, merge, add as related organization or ignore potential duplicates using the Stakeholder Merge feature:

When hovering over potential duplicates, three action buttons appear:

  • "Ignore" results in ignoring the potential duplicate and removing it from the list. By doing so you confirm that it is not a duplicate but a legitimately distinct stakeholder.
  • "Merge" results in merging the selected potential duplicate into the current stakeholder (the current stakeholder record is, therefore "kept" while the selected potential duplicate will be removed). 
  •   "Add as related organization" results in adding the selected potential duplicate as a related organization to the current one. After specifying the type of relationship, the selected organization has with the current organization, each organization will appear in the Related organizations section (under the Relationships tab) of their profile.

Note that this action cannot be undone. A pop-up screen will appear, allowing you to confirm the action and enter a comment before it is performed.

Identify potential duplicates manually

  • Potential duplicates that are not identified by the system can be manually added to the list by choosing Actions > Duplicates management and selecting a stakeholder. Manually added potential duplicates will also be identified by an Borealis_Duplicate_icon_5.34.png icon.


Decisions and actions performed when merging stakeholders

When selecting the "Merge" action the following is performed:

  • The current stakeholder's information is combined with the information of the duplicate stakeholder
    • Any empty field of the current stakeholder will be replaced with the value for the duplicate stakeholder;
    • Values of multiple selection fields (like the Categorization field) will be combined in the current stakeholder.
    • If a field contain different values for the two stakeholders and they cannot be combined, the value for the current stakeholder will be kept.
  • Every record that was linked to the duplicate stakeholder will be linked to the current stakeholder instead
  • The duplicate stakeholder will them be deleted and no longer accessible
  • The Action History will be updated to show that a merge took place.

Also note that when merging stakeholders, values in Project field are combined, which may result in making the updated stakeholder visible and editable by a new set of users.

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