mDesktop in Depth - Matching/ Merge/Purge Menu options including Flag Matches, Transfer Data etc


Flag Matches

Flag matches is used to flag records above a certain matching score without further user intervention.  It can be selected from the screen displayed after finding matches or from the Matching menu.

If selected from the main menu, you are first asked if you wish to modify any of the scores (e.g. to flag false matches where you know the reference numbers of the pairs involved).  Also, you can view how many pairs achieved each match score and flag as False any particular match score – for details on this, see Total Score Breakdown.

Modifying scores is not usually necessary: click Next if you do not wish to change anything.

The "Flag Records" screen is displayed next (or straight away if you chose this option after finding matches).  Here you enter the matching score at and above which you want duplicate records removed.  It defaults to the Minimum score to report:

If you leave the score at the default, only those records that weren't given a Matching Score will be left in the Main File.  If you enter e.g.100, it will only flag records in the Main File with a Matching Score greater than or equal to 100, leaving one record for each individual, company, family or household, depending on the level of matching you selected previously.  You can also select to use Intelligent Data Merge.

Transfer Data

The Transfer Data operation (from the Matching menu) allows a user to transfer data from specified fields in one record to those fields in the matched record.  However, the IDM process can override the options for the Transfer Data operation.  To use IDM in the Transfer Data option, simply check the appropriate box on the main Transfer Data option screen.

Below the field picker there are other options can be set:

  • Transfer for scores – data is only transferred for records whose matching score is equal to or greater than the value shown.
  • Transfer data – from Higher to Lower shows where the data will be copied from to.  Clicking on one of the buttons (Higher/Lower) will swap the order.
  • Always Replace/Replace Only if Empty – If there is data in a field that is about to be overwritten, mDesktop needs to know whether to replace it (always replace) or leave it (replace only if empty).
  • Blank All Fields/Append to Existing Fields – You can optionally choose to blank all the fields you are transferring to before starting, or append the data being transferred to that already in the field.
  • In all cases, you should ensure that the field being transferred to is large enough to contain all the data or some of it will be lost.  To make sure that only the best match is used to transfer data across where many records match one, define a field MATCHSCORE (numeric 8) in your receiving file, using "Main File Layout".  
  • Click "Continue" to start the process.

Group Matches

Group Matches is available from the Matching menu, and is used to collate match sets after a matching run.  For this to happen there must be a MATCH_REF field in the Main File layout, which is of type character and is at least as wide as the UNIQUE_REF field. mDesktop will ask for a threshold score, and then collate all records which are in a match set with a matching score higher than it.  It does this by determining the 'master' record of a set; that is, the one which is to be kept in favor of all the others in the set.  It then copies the contents of the master record's UNIQUE_REF field into the MATCH_REF field of all of the other records in the set.  This means that if the Main File is viewed in MATCH_REF order, all the match sets will be grouped together.

mDesktop will do the exactly the same thing as described above if 'Flag Matches', is chosen from the Matching menu, but will also flag the matches. Group Matches will not flag any records.

Delete Suppression Records

If you have processed a job created by the Multiple File Wizard, you are prompted at the end to remove suppression records from the mailing file.  If you don't say "Yes" to this prompt then, you can remove them via this menu option.

Total Score Breakdown

Total Score Breakdown is available from the Matching or Merge/Purge menus, or before you select Delete Matches or any of the Merge/Purge options from the relevant menu.  This facility shows the matches found on the currently selected Main File (or Files) categorized into score bands.  It displays the number of matches found at a particular score, an example of a matching key that was used to find them, and a flag value, which can either be True (T) or False (F). Setting this flag to False marks as False matches all of the matches found at that score, so they will not appear on any future matching reports.  This is useful when, after verifying or viewing the matches, it is found that matches at a particular score are all False, but some lower scores are True matches.


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