|go ahead... be a heretic|
Yes, but it can allow you to match "J L Smith" against "Mr John L. Smith" or even "Jim Smithe" and similar variations. Usually that alone won't be enough, but combined with other data and perhaps human oversight it can allow you to detect/eliminate duplicates. (You do have to be careful of John Smith Senior and John Smith Junior who live at the same address.)
I implemented this years ago on a 6 million name dataset and it (helped) illiminate over 20,000 misreads, data entry errors and fraudulent attempts. The indexes were implemented as bitfields -- 1 bit per full name -- which allowed any entry to be rapidly compared against all the names and reduced to a tiny subset of the 6 million for further manual investigation.
With the rise and rise of 'Social' network sites: 'Computers are making people easier to use everyday'
Examine what is said, not who speaks -- Silence betokens consent -- Love the truth but pardon error.
"Science is about questioning the status quo. Questioning authority". The enemy of (IT) success is complexity.
In the absence of evidence, opinion is indistinguishable from prejudice. Suck that fhit
In reply to Re^3: Module to intelligently handle names with two last names and other best practices?