I have a donation database:
Table 1: Donation Data: donations as they come in online (user inputed information)
Table 2: Donors: each donors’ record which is linked to table 1 so you can see all their unique donations
Problem: user inputted information sometimes changes (e.g. Meghan Moore, Meghan E Moore, Dr. Meghan Moore), but I want the donation data to link ONLY to one record in the Donor Table (Meghan Moore)
I want to find a way to link both so that no matter what the user enters, the donation data gets linked to the proper donor record without creating a new record in the linked table because it looks like a “new” name.
Meghan Moore ; $20
Meghan E Moore ; $50
Dr. Meghan Moore ; $100
Table 2: Meghan Moore ; $20, $50, $100
Is there a way to do this automatically (assuming I may already know some of the possible aliases) or do I have to always manually check for near duplicates and then assign to the proper donor record?
Hi Meghan, welcome to the community!
Fuzzy linking is the stuff of machine-learning and unfortunately, Airtable doesn’t provide much assistance in this regard. But they do provide an API and that’s how it can be done with pretty efficient results.
@Bill.French in a similar vein, see my “Show and Tell” here:
Is there an equally frictionless way to deploy Python apps as web services, preferrably in a serverless environment and at low or no cost?
Yes, completely agree. From the Airtable scripting beta that I have seen (just a form to sign-up), it looks like the language will be JS or JS-like, so Python won’t be my way forward, but that’s OK, JS works too.
I haven’t tried this, but Google Cloud Functions in Python would be a possibility. Likely free unless there is particularly heavy usage. But not “simple” to set up, certainly not as simple as using the script environment of a Googlesheet.
I do not have access yet but I have been briefed by those who do and I’m fearful that this integrated scripting feature is going to be limited in the ways it can be deployed into an application. I’m not completely aware of the limitations (because they have not granted me access yet), so I don’t want to rain on a parade that hasn’t begun. However, what I heard did not sound like a pervasive way to solve intricate process challenges.
Hey Bill and Jonathan - thank you so much! I’m in awe of what you’re both able to do with scripting and will await the public integration of this. Right now I think the scripting is a bit beyond me, but I’m super impressed and appreciate the responses.
Meghan: do you all collect email addresses?
If scripting is not your preferred choice, linking donors based on emails will at least reduce your work.
The assumption here is donors will, more often than not, use the same email address. The number of iterations they make with their name will not be the same with emails.
Just a thought.
Long wait; 5 years+ on many things that were foregone conclusions. Fuzzy linking? Perhaps late 2024?
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