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User Tutorial - Data Conflicts

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Data Conflicts

Guidelines for Resolving Data Conflicts after merging profiles

The purpose of this project is to explain how to safely and correctly resolve data conflicts which may have arisen as a result of merging profiles on Geni..

Data conflicts arise when two profiles are merged but some of the information did not match. Instead of discarding any information, Geni allows us to review these conflicts and choose the correct data to keep. The information selected will then appear on the profile page.

This is a tutorial project and so please do not link profiles to it. Translations are welcome

If you have any specific questions, comments or suggestions about the guidelines below, please contact June Barnes or Erica Howton who are Volunteer Curators. Do not hesitate to ask questions about anything that is not clear, or draw attention to things that I may have been missed!
Alternatively raise a discussion to embrace wider participation and input.

Please note that profiles used in the screen-shot illustrations have no significance and are merely used to illustrate scenarios - they have no relevance to the tutorials. The illustrations will not always match your own - this depends on how you have set your Name Preferences, and what your choices are when viewing the tree.

Occasionally I use a "vertical tree layout" in order to cover more ground.
How much of what is explained you can carry out depends on whether you have a Geni Basic or Pro subscription.

See other user tutorials

See also


Getting Involved

Feel free to follow, request to collaborate


The best approach is

Search, Match, Link before building duplicate trees...

// not build, duplicate, merge, resulting in
...Tree conflicts and Data conflicts

After a profile and tree have been merged there are inevitably conflicts in the data added to the various fields between the merged profiles. These can be as minor as CAPITALISATION of names or a place name misspelt or incorrectly written - e.g. United Kingdom pre 1804. The correct content needs to be selected to be displayed on the profile page. By default what is written in the Main Profile will override any other content. It is therefore very important to review the alternative data in order to have the most accurate information entered. Often there can be better information available from the merged in profile, for instance a full date instead of an approximate one.

Note: You must have permission to edit the profile in order to resolve conflicts. If a profile is claimed, only the profile owner may complete their conflicting data information. You may send a request to the profile owner or manager to complete the conflict on their profile. The following tutorials apply when you do have permission to edit a profile.

It is important to review the conflicts mindfully and carefully. Sometimes the answer is not obvious and more investigation is necessary. This can be done by reviewing the main profile before making the selection to see if there are any sources available to support the data added. You can also access the profile being merged into the main profile by clicking the name of the profile in the data conflict comparison screen to see if there is anything there to support the information. Sometimes you may find that the profile being merged in is part of an abandoned tree, in which case (depending on the Geni subscription you have) you can report it as abandoned, or ask a curator to do so.

If there is nothing to support either data in the conflict it is necessary to either research further yourself if the profile is one within your research interest, or contact other managers for their input. This is the beauty of Geni collaboration. You can do this by either messaging the managers of the profile or, in the case of a profile which has a large number of managers, opening a discussion linked to the profile. In either case it helps to include the link address (URL/www) (See below - look in the same place for links to other pages, profiles, trees, data conflicts etc.) to the conflict comparison page in your message or discussion. As a last resort a curator can place a note on the profile drawing attention to the conflicting information.

// Address location

The following aims to explain how to approach and resolve data-conflicts in profiles you manage, or in profiles of your family group.

It is important to resolve any data conflicts which have arisen either as a result of your merging profiles/trees or by the merging of profiles you manage by other people. This needs to be done as soon as possible as it helps to ensure that the Geni tree is as correct and accurate as it can be.

This project explains how to follow through the following procedures:-

DC1. Attend to data conflicts in your personal Merge Centre

DC2. View conflicts which are outstanding on a profile

DC3. View conflicts which may have arisen as a result of a merge you have carried out.

// Your personal Merge Centre

// DC1:1.// At the top right of the screen (in all views of Geni) there is a little box to the left of your profile thumbnail - Figure DC1:1. This will sometimes be coloured red with a number included, indicating that there are new notifications which you have not accessed. Otherwise it will be a grey box.
Click on the box tol open the Notifications menu - Figure DC1:2.
// DC1:2.

Clicking on Matches will open up your personal Merge Centre - see the Figure DC1:3. below. Matches are dealt with more thoroughly in Section B at Merge Guide.

You have the choice of viewing Matches, Requested Merges, Tree Conflicts and Data Conflicts, all of which need your attention depending on the type of Geni subscription you have.

For the purpose of this exercise we are looking at the section called Data Conflicts. Selecting that tab will give you a list of profiles to consider.

// DC1:3.
Clicking on "View Profile" under "Action" alongside the entry for Hans Jurgens van Rooten opens up the window shown in Figure DC1:4.

// DC1:4

In this example we can see that the conflicts involve two fields - firstly there are two different spelling of the Birth Surname, and secondly the Death Date. The first shows up an error in both columns - in the first the name is spelt incorrectly - it should be van Rooyen - there being a typo in the first column and an incorrect format in the 2nd. The option here is to either go to the main profile and correct the spelling, and then return to the conflicts to select the correct spelling, or to select the main profile options and correct the spelling afterward. In this instance my choice was to select all of the main profile's options by clicking select all, and then save. I then corrected the spelling when the window changed to the Main profile. The 2nd conflict involving the date of death was also resolved once I was faced with the profile page. As no source existed for the date I changed that to reflect "circa" as indicated in the second column of the conflicts.

To make a selection in the table of conflicts click on the field you consider correct. That field turns green. I did not save the screen from the above conflict but the following Figure DC1:5 illustrates the selection result.

// DC1:5

Each conflict needs to be considered carefully. Often the selection to make is straight forward. In Figure DC1:5 the date of death in the 2nd column was probably the date of baptism. I selected the first option and checked that it was correct once I could see the main profile. If there are conflicts which you do not have an answer to (See Figure DC1:6.) select the link to the main page from the data conflicts window.

// DC1:6

When the main profile opens you can either research further reviewing available sources and notes on the profile or start a discussion from the profile - see Figure DC1:7.
// DC1:7.
Alternatively you could send a message to the profile managers asking them to consider the various options. It is useful to include the web address/ www link in the discussion or message as not everyone knows how to see data conflicts!

// Address location

If you look at Figure DC1:3 above you will see in the top right corner a selection menu. Opening the menu gives you other options to view Data Conflicts in specific categories - see Figure DC1:8.

// DC1:8.

Your selection will give you other existing conflicts to work through in the same way as described above.

// View conflicts which are outstanding on a profile

Another way to access data-conflicts is from the profile page. I will use the profile of Hans Jurgens van Rooyen in Figure DC1:4 above to illustrate.

// DC2:1// DC2:1.

At the top right hand corner of the profile page find the Actions" menu.
Click "Actions" to open the menu - revealing options available to you - see
Figure DC2:1.

If there are any unresolved data conflicts they will show up in Resolve Conflicting Data. This will not be visible if there are none. (Figure DC2:1)

The next option is View Nearby Merge Issues. Selecting this will take you to a menu similar to your own merge centre but specifically for the profile you are viewing. See Figure DC2:2. This menu is available to ALL users, Basic and Pro alike. It is available on all profiles - not only those which you manage, collaborate on or have a family connection to. This means that if you have been working on a tree conflict or merge you can access any arising conflicts to resolve them..

// DC2:2

You will see that the Matches are not included in this menu - just those related to Requested Merges, Tree Conflicts and Data Conflicts. Click on any tag to get a list of outstanding conflicts with links to the profiles for processing.

// View conflicts resulting from a merge you have done

If you have carried out a merge in a tree, often involving a number of profiles, it is a courtesy to "mop up" after yourself. At 3. Merge this Person - from a Profile Page at Merge Guide we saw how to merge duplicate profiles for Field Marshal FitzRoy Somerset, 1st Baron Raglan. When the merge was successfully completed the following banner appeared at the top of his profile page.

At 3. Merge this Person - from a Profile Page at Merge Guide we saw how to merge duplicate profiles for Field Marshal FitzRoy Somerset, 1st Baron Raglan. When the merge was successfully completed the following banner appeared at the top of his profile page.


The first port of call was to View Tree from that profile to complete the merge by addressing the Tree Conflicts that had arisen from the initial duplicate being merged. How this was done can be seen at B - Resolving Tree Conflicts at Tree Conflicts. Once the merge was completed the data conflicts needed to be addressed - which is where we pick it up here.
On the profile page of Field Marshal FitzRoy Somerset, 1st Baron Raglan locate and click "Actions" to open the menu - revealing options available to you - see Figure DC2:1. above.

Click on Resolve Conflicting Data which opens the "conflicting Data" window. (Figure DC3:1.)

/// DC3:1.

When these have been resolved you are taken back to the profile page and the message (Figure DC3:2.) is displayed
// DC3:2.

The next option is View Nearby Merge Issues. Selecting this will take you to a menu similar you your own merge centre but specifically for the profile you are viewing. (Figure DC3:3.). There are over 530 data conflicts listed! To view those which are as a result of recent activity change the "Updated On" to show the most recent first.

/// DC3:3.

This shows that there are 13 entries resulting from activity today, not all of them updated by me. Clicking "view profile" takes you to the conflicting data window as in FigureDC3:1 above. Work through at least those updated by yourself and a few more if you have the time as it all helps to reduce the backlog!