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Eliminate Duplicates Fast with Power Automate Guide
Power Automate
Jan 4, 2024 10:00 AM

Eliminate Duplicates Fast with Power Automate Guide

by HubSite 365 about Tyler Kolota

Software Development & Process Improvement

Citizen DeveloperPower AutomateLearning Selection

Streamline Data Cleanup: Eliminate Duplicates with Power Automate in SharePoint and Beyond!

Key insights

Power Automate offers a solution to identify and remove duplicates in various data sources by transforming data into a JSON array and processing it.

  • SharePoint lists serve as a demonstration template, but the method is applicable to data from SharePoint, Excel, SQL, Dataverse, API calls, and more.
  • Begin by using a 'get data' action to import the data into the flow, then order it appropriately, knowing that sorting affects which records are kept or deleted based on date or numerical value.
  • To detect duplicates, use the 'Select DuplicateCheckFields' action, inputting the name and value of each column to be checked.
  • The flow then identifies duplicates and turns them into a JSON array, which can be targeted for deletion.
  • Inside the loop, use specific actions (such as SharePoint Delete item action) to delete duplicates based on their unique identifiers like ID.

This method ensures when sorted by different parameters, such as ascending or descending order, it intuitively keeps the oldest/newest or smallest/largest records depending on the selected criteria. The final result on a demo SharePoint list shows the effectiveness by listing IDs removed and retained, confirming accurate duplicate removal.

Updates to Power Automate's Duplicate Removal Process

The latest version of Power Automate's duplicate removal tool now includes a Reverse() expression, which simplifies how records are processed and retained based on user input. This enhancement makes the process more intuitive for users when deciding which data to keep during an ascending or descending sort system. While the legacy import method might cause trouble, alternative methods are provided to ensure user success with this tool.

Do you need to identify and remove duplicate records from a data source based on similar values in certain columns? Tyler Kolota explains a method using Power Automate that assists with this task, and while the process is showcased using a SharePoint list, it's applicable to various data sources since it works with a standard JSON array format.

By processing the JSON array to locate duplicates in your chosen columns, this technique not only specifies the duplicates but also simplifies their deletion. It's compatible with not just SharePoint but also with Excel, SQL, Dataverse, and through API calls with external datasets.

To begin, any data gathering action can be used to incorporate the data into the workflow. Using built-in functions like 'Order By' or Power Automate expressions for sorting and reversing, data can be arranged by the selected column either in ascending or descending order, affecting which records are kept and which are deleted depending on the criteria.

For duplicate checking, select the appropriate fields in the "DuplicateCheckFields" action by specifying the column name and corresponding dynamic content value for each column you want to scrutinize. Only records that match across all listed columns will be recognized as duplicates.

Following actions process the records and pinpoint the duplicates, ultimately providing a JSON array of just the duplicated records. This array can then be used to facilitate the deletion of these records within the workflow.

For the deletion process, include the appropriate action within a loop that utilizes the expression items('Apply_to_each')?['ColumnName'] to delete records based on a specific field, such as the 'ID' field for SharePoint items.

The video also demonstrates using a sample SharePoint list at the beginning and shows the final result after the duplicates with certain criteria have been successfully removed. Only the rows with complete matching information in all the specified columns were deleted, underscoring the accuracy of the method.

Updates have been made to enhance user understanding, such as the addition of a Reverse expression, making the result of sorting orders more intuitive. Kolota also addresses issues with legacy import methods and offers an alternative solution.

In summary, this Power Automate tutorial by Tyler Kolota is a practical guide for removing duplicate records from various data sources, detailing each step with clarity and precision.

Understanding Data Deduplication Processes

Data duplication is a common issue in managing information across different platforms and datasets. Deduplication processes like those shown in the video are crucial for maintaining data integrity and efficiency. The capabilities of workflow automation tools can be leveraged to streamline these tasks, saving time and reducing errors. The method outlined by Tyler Kolota on his YouTube channel is beneficial for those looking to automate the removal of redundant data without manual intervention. These techniques benefit businesses in data cleansing, ensuring the accuracy of analytical results, and improving overall data quality.

Understanding Data Management with Power Automate

Struggling with duplicates within your datasets can be a challenge, especially when working with multiple columns. A solution is presented using Power Automate, a tool designed to help with such situations. Here, a simple template is highlighted which tackles the issue head-on.

The technique demonstrated uses a SharePoint list, reflecting how effective Power Automate can be with JSON arrays. It processes the data to flag down duplicates across designated columns, providing an easy route to clear them out. This template is therefore not just limited to SharePoint but can also extend to other sources like Excel and SQL.

The explained method is versatile, catering to various databases such as Dataverse or external APIs. By extracting data into the flow and manipulating record order, users can dictate how duplicates are handled—whether the newest or oldest, smallest or largest records are retained.

The process begins by utilizing any data retrieval action to fetch data into the flow. It uses built-in functions or a sort expression from Power Automate to organize the data by a specific column, which is pivotal for the subsequent steps.

By sorting the records in ascending or descending order based on dates or numbers, users can retain the most relevant information. This action determines which duplicates to keep and which to remove, aiming for comprehensive data cleanup.

Users move forward by specifying which columns to check for duplicates. Only exact matches across these columns are considered genuine duplicates, ensuring accuracy in the process.

Intermediate actions in the template are tasked with processing these records. They identify duplicate entries and then compile them into a JSON array exclusively containing the duplicates, ready for review or deletion.

The actual removal of duplicates is handled within a loop that uses expressions to target specific fields. For SharePoint, this means using the ID field to delete items precisely without impacting other data.

Demo examples provided in the video showcase the before and after scenarios on a SharePoint list. This illustrates the effectiveness of the template in filtering out duplicate entries based on user-defined parameters.

Efficient Data Management

Mastering data management and eradication of duplicates is crucial in maintaining clean and reliable datasets. Tools like Power Automate, and its various expressions and functions, allow for a high level of customizability. Users can easily flex the system to their specific data needs, ensuring that whether dealing with SharePoint, Excel, SQL, or any other service, disorderly data becomes a thing of the past.

While this specific template was created with SharePoint in mind, the underlying concept of using JSON arrays to manage data stretches across other platforms and services. Power Automate empowers users to automate and refine their data processes, underlining its usefulness in today's data-driven world.

It's a testament to the flexibility and power of Power Automate that these complex tasks can become routine. By defining columns and incorporating expressions for sorting and deleting, users tailor their workflows, resulting in streamlined and uncluttered datasets.

This type of solution exemplifies the adaptability of modern data management tools and showcases how automation can save time. Moreover, by removing the manual labor in data sorting and duplicate removal, accuracy is bolstered, enhancing overall productivity.

Whether for routine maintenance or large-scale data cleansing, automating with tools like Power Automate and the described template can be a game-changer. In summary, maintaining an organized data system is pivotal, and with these tools at hand, the process is not just possible—it's simplified.

Power Automate - Eliminate Duplicates Fast with Power Automate Guide

## Questions and Answers about Microsoft 365


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