With a little work to make Outlook contact information more consistent, the loading of the CRM database will require less effort and time. Administrative assistants can do this on behalf of attorneys. Without this preparation work in Outlook, loading the CRM database will require a lot more data reconciliation time and effort.
Since Outlook contact information is typically maintained on an attorney by attorney basis, these “Data Cleanup” suggestions will only help to make the information consistent for each attorney, but not between attorneys. Differences in the same contacts’ information between attorneys will be resolved during the CRM import/editing process.
Three sorted views of contacts are needed to facilitate the Outlook “Data Cleanup.” If the CRM has the ability to publish Outlook views, the following views can be provided to administrative assistants. Otherwise, most Outlook users are familiar with how to sort contact lists.
Outlook views used for data cleanup
Show: FullName, Last Name, First Name, Middle Name, Suffix, Title
This view makes it easy to see contacts with name components in the wrong places, such as no first or last names, and shows any duplicate records for the same person.
Show: Company Name, Business Phone
This view identifies inconsistencies in spelling, punctuation, or suffixes (such as “A.B.C. Chemical” and “A.B.C. Chemical, Inc.”).
Show: Business Name, Mailing Address
This view finds company name variations with the same address, e.g. “ABC Corp. of Arizona” and “Arizona ABC Corp.”. It also shows variations in the way the address has been entered for the same company.