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Flow and fuzzy search.. no matter the data source?

Hi all!

I have been analyzing different options to perform a fuzzy search.

This feature is very useful when trying to consolidate entries with typos or simply different formatting preferences, so “Mr. Andrew Hill”, “Hill, Andrew R.” and “Andy Hill” all refer to the same underlying entity.

It seems that depending on the data source, the options for fuzzy search differ. For example:

-Excel already has an add-on for such purpose (see here and here for more info)

-Azure SQL server also has its own approach (see here for more info)

-Named Entity Recognition module in Azure Machine Learning Studio is limited to people (PER), locations (LOC), and organizations (ORG) (see here for more information)

-Sharepoint Lists does not seem to have this feature available


So I was thinking a good feature for Microsoft Flow would be to offer a Fuzzy comparison action block in a similar way to the Excel add-in by taking data sources (or two arrays) as input. You can also select:

-the column pairs you want to compare (could be more than one)

-which columns from each source will be part of the output

-the similarity threshold

-the max number of matches

By having this feature as a Flow action block we could extend such feature to any data source.





Status: New
Advocate II

Wow, what a great idea! Would be so helpful!

Regular Visitor

Indeed this is a great idea.

I found myself in the same situation and I really need some "fuzzy search" because I have to check if a "string" exist into an array.

Regular Visitor

This is a great idea, it would be super helpful.