Resolving matched entity records

You can merge and unite matching entity records on the chart. This means that disparate information that is stored across multiple sources is brought together. Critical data remains easily accessible, helping you to uncover paths in the data and improve chart readability.

When you activate and run match rules for entity records, Analyst's Notebook returns the results in the Entities tab of the Find Matching Records window. The property values of the records in each unresolved match set are displayed in a table, with matches and clashes indicated by different icons. You can ascertain whether the records represent the same real world object or relationship by comparing the values that match, and those that do not. For example, if the Passport number in four out of five of the records is a match, the anomaly might be that the number is missing from the fifth record, it has been input incorrectly, or the record belongs to a different person. Further investigation of the common property values can help you validate whether some or all of the records in the set are the same person. You can then decide how to combine the information and make it easier to manage.

The icons that are used in the Find Matching Records window, and their meanings are:
Indicates that this property was specified in the conditions of the match rules used in this search.
Indicates that this value is unique in the match set. When there is no equivalent value in any other record in the match set, this might be a reason not to merge or unite this record.
Indicates that this value appears more than once in the match set. The color and hatching direction have no significance other than to denote more matches, commonly when comparing large numbers of records.

Merging records is particularly useful if you are working on a chart with records from the Information Store and records that have never been uploaded. The target record in a merge keeps its record identifier, version and security level. The properties, notes and source references of the other records being merged are copied to the target record and any duplicates are discarded. The links from the selected records are merged with the target record. You should be aware that if your selected records have different security levels, you might be merging data from records with a higher security classification than that of the target record. You can also use the Merge Records function in the Match group on the Analyze tab to merge selected records quickly. Use Undo to reverse the merge action. It is not possible to merge Information Store records with each other. The only option available is to unite these records.

Uniting records is used when you are working with Information Store records, or when you want to maintain all of the information on the records without any merging taking place. The records are brought together into a single chart item and the record selected as the target becomes the lead record. When you upload united records, all the records are kept separately in the Information Store and there is no indication in the store that the unite occurred. You can upload a chart that contains united records to the Chart Store and they continue to appear as united on the chart surface when you or another analyst opens the chart. You cannot unite entity records of different schema item types, for example you cannot unite Person records with Vehicle records.

If a match set contains both Information Store records and records that only exist on your chart (and the option to merge where possible is on), you are presented with the Resolve command. This function resolves matches by merging any records that can be merged and uniting the remaining records. When you resolve a match set, it is good practice to select an Information Store record as your target to preserve the network associated with that record. If links are transferred to a target record that is not from the store, the network can become more fragmented when you upload records. You cannot upload changes to the properties of system governed records, however you can add notes and details. The Upload Records window provides information of changes that you have made to read-only records.

Note: If you make changes to records on the chart or delete records after finding matches, you might need to run Find Matching Records again. Analyst's Notebook detects the changes and displays a message on the Find Matching Records window. The Label row updates to show the stale or deleted records. These records cannot be selected or chosen as target records.
  • To merge and unite entity records:
    1. Click an unresolved match set from the list in the Find Matching Records window.
      The records in the set display in a table and the corresponding items are also selected on the chart.
    2. Choose the records you want to include in the Select row.
    3. Click the button in the Target row, under the record to use as the target.
    4. Click Options.
      The Configure merge and unite window opens.
    5. Click either Merge where possible, otherwise Unite or Always Unite matching records. You can also choose to create a note of any clashing property values under the merge action.
      If you click Merge where possible, otherwise Unite, records that are not in the Information Store are merged. An Information Store record can only be included in the merge is when it is selected as the target record. If you click Always Unite matching records, the selected records move into the same item as the target record. When you select the chart item, you can view the records it contains in the Record Inspector or if you hover over the selected chart item, you can view the records in the Data Record area of the Infotip.
    6. Depending on the match sets you select, you can choose to complete the merge or unite step in one action. The Merge records in sets and Unite records in sets functions perform in the same way as Merge records and Unite records. For example, you have four unresolved match sets that you have made changes to. The button updates to say 'Unite records in 4 sets'. This option saves you the time of uniting the match sets individually but it does not unite one match set with another.
  • To resolve entity records:
    1. Click an unresolved match set from the list in the Find Matching Records window.
      If your match set contains some records that can merged and others that can only be united, and you chose to Merge where possible, otherwise Unite, records and chart records, the option to Resolve the records in that match set is active.
    2. Click the radio button in the Target row to select the target record.
      The Action column updates to show if the other records in the set will be merged or united.
    3. Click Resolve records.

If you chose to merge records, the properties, notes, source references, and source identifiers from the records in your selection are copied over, unless they already exist on the target record. Duplicate records are removed from the chart. If the merge results in the target record containing more notes or source references than the set limit, Analyst's Notebook displays a message. If you are concerned about losing data, you should undo this action and curate the records you want to merge before repeating Merge Records. Additionally, you could contact your system administrator and have the count limits increased for notes and source references.

Records you choose to unite are brought together behind the target record, however all records retain their information and can be individually viewed in the Record Inspector.

The option to resolve records results in a combination of values being copied onto the target record, while Information Store records are united.