6 Replies Latest reply on Apr 19, 2011 7:31 AM by SARAHTEAGUE

    Identifying matching data from an outside contact list in Filemaker Pro

    rowing190

      Title

      Identifying matching data from an outside contact list in Filemaker Pro

      Post

      This is more of a general question about Filemaker Pro 9's functionality. There are many times when my company purchases a mailing list from a third party source to supplement our in-house database for specific mailing campaigns. My question is whether it is possible to employ fuzzy logic within Filemaker Pro 9 in order to identify matches between the third party mailing list and our in-house database. For example, Robert Johnson is the first and last name in our database; Bob Johnson is the first and last name in the third party database. Or 3M might be the company name in our database and 3 M the company name in the third party database. Currently, I can match on exact first name, last name, company name and zip code and identify some of the matches between lists. But this is not really sufficient. The examples I mentioned above will not be caught. So a fuzzy logic program is needed to identify these inexaxt matches. I understand that this might entail hiring a developer to create this functionality. But we are in the midst of looking at various off-the shelf software packages that identify duplicates and was wondering whether or not it might be best for us to implement this functionality within Filemaker Pro 9 if at all possible.

       

      Thanks for any help you can offer. 

       

      rowing190

        • 1. Re: Identifying matching data from an outside contact list in Filemaker Pro
          raybaudi
            

          Hi

           

          what about using the email as the macthing value ?

          • 2. Re: Identifying matching data from an outside contact list in Filemaker Pro
            rowing190
              

            Daniele:

             

            Thank you for your response. Using the e-mail as the match field will not really work for us. We do not have e-mail addresses for all of the contacts in our database. We will for active clients, but not necessarily for prospects or for inactive clients, who we still want to reach in the mailing campaign. Secondly, e-mail addresses change frequently, so even the e-mail addresses that we might have for prospects and inactive clients might not be accurate. Finally, most third party lists will not have e-mail addresses for all of the contacts in the lists. 

             

            There are fuzzy logic programs that easily identify inexact matches. I was hoping that a fuzzy logic program could be implemented within FP. 

             

            rowing190

            • 3. Re: Identifying matching data from an outside contact list in Filemaker Pro
              TSGal

              rowing190:

               

              Thank you for your posts. 

               

              "raybaudi" had an excellent question (Thank you!), so I didn't respond until I saw your next reply.

               

              FileMaker Pro does not have a fuzzy logic program.  You can probably create some Soundex algorithms to get some information, but in the end, you would still have to look at the data.

               

              Another option is to create a second calculation field that strips out spaces (which would handle "3M" and "3 M") and uses Substitute() functions for Bob-Robert, Bill-William, etc. (that could be a long list).  I know it isn't exactly what you want, but it could help as the list grows.

               

              TSGal

              FileMaker, Inc. 

              • 4. Re: Identifying matching data from an outside contact list in Filemaker Pro
                rowing190
                  

                TSGal:

                 

                Thank you so much for your reply. I will take a look at your suggestion and see whether or not we can implement Soundex algorithms.

                 

                rowing190

                • 5. Re: Identifying matching data from an outside contact list in Filemaker Pro
                  denJ
                    

                  rowing190,

                   

                  If you can standardize your address fields you can use it for a match field. This has some advantages. For example, Robert Johnson might match the address of Mary Johnson. You then know that they live together and you don't need to mail them twice.

                   

                  On the other hand, if you have a record for Robert Johnson at some address (home perhaps) and another record for Robert Johnson with a different address you may not mind mailing twice. They may be two different people with the same name or they could be the same person at home and at work. Perhaps someone will read something at work which they might discard at home so you might not mind mailing twice.

                   

                  denJ 

                  • 6. Re: Identifying matching data from an outside contact list in Filemaker Pro
                    SARAHTEAGUE

                    I have a similar situation, trying to match records from a 3rd party.  Basically, I want to find fuzzing duplicates between 2 separate files, then merge the duplicates as single records in a new merged file/table (each record would have the matching field from both original files, plus additional fields from each of the original files).

                    An example would be

                    File A:  contains full names (John Doe) and lease IDs

                    File B: contains full names (Jon Doe) and lead IDs

                    Merge File C:  contains John/Jon Doe and lease ID and lead ID

                    **I am wondering if anyone out there has found a way to find fuzzy duplicates using Filemaker?  This question was last posed in 2008, so hoping progress has been made (fingers crossed).