Avoiding duplicate records in BANNER
When you are entering new person or non-person information in BANNER, it is critically important that you perform a thorough search of the database BEFORE entering the information. This is to make sure that the person or non-person does not already have a record in the system. Entering a duplicate record causes all kinds of problems; it is very difficult to detect duplicate records until they cause a problem, and we want to preserve as much data integrity on the front end as we can.
The rule of thumb to follow is that you should always assume that the person or non-person you need to enter already has a record in BANNER. Your job is to find that record using all available search methods; only after a thorough search has been conducted should you enter the new record.
The following steps should be taken whenever entering new person or non-person information into PPAIDEN, SPAIDEN, FOAIDEN, or RPAIDEN.
- If you are entering a person and have a social security number, enter that into the ID field. If a record already exists with that social security number, the person's name will populate into the field. This is good way to avoid duplicate SSN's in the system. If you are entering a non-person and have an idea of what the vendor code would be, enter that and see if anything comes up.
- If you do get a match on the SSN or vendor ID, do a check into the personal and/or address information to verify that the record you've found belongs to the person you think it does and not just a person or non-person with the same name. If the addresses and/or birthdate matches, for example, chances are the person is indeed the one you're looking for. If there isn't enough data in the form you're in to determine that, check form GUASYST to see what part of BANNER contains information on that record.
- If nothing comes up for either SSN or the vendor code (or if the personal data doesn't match), click on the ID button in the key block to get to your query form. Perform a last name or entity name query using the exact spelling of the name of the person or non-person you are about to enter. If the entire name brings up no records, perform a search on sections of the name using sections of the name and the % wildcard symbol.
- Soundex is an excellent tool to make sure that you are not entering a duplicate record. After entering a query, click on the Soundex button at the bottom of the query screen. This will bring up a dialog box that will ask you to enter the first name and last name. Soundex will then search for names similar to the one you have entered. Soundex is especially helpful in situations where you are almost sure a record exists but cannot remember exactly what the name, SSN, or vendor code is.
- An area that creates a lot of duplicates is foreign names. Always do at least two searches for foreign names, using what you think is the last name as both the last name AND the first name in two separate searches (this step should also be used with people who have a last name that is also a common first name).
- Above all, don't rush. The extra time you take at the beginning will be well worth it. It can be difficult to force yourself to perform the searches and querying necessary when you have a pile of data entry that needs to be done, but patience now means a lot less hassle later.
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