The Link King
Record Linkage and Consolidation Software
Is The Link King right for you ?
We hope so, but maybe not.
The Link King was developed using datasets from a variety of state agencies in Washington and Oregon State. These
datasets always contained full first name, full last name, and birthdate. Some would also contain middle name (or initial),
maiden name, and/or SSN. If your datasets contain – at a minimum – full first name, last name, and birthdate, then The Link
King is definitely a good choice. Additional fields (e.g., middle name, maiden name, SSN, and a user defined “flex”
variable) will increase the accuracy of the linkage process.
Although, modifications have been made to The Link King to accommodate datasets where a) only first and last name are
present, b) only a first initial is present instead of a full first name, or c) mixed SSN lengths are present. Users must be
aware that linkage of records with such limited identifier information increases the margin of linkage error: Positive
Predictive Value is still very high (i.e., the links that are found are accurate); however, Sensitivy (i.e., the ability to identify all
“true links”) may fall as low as the mid-80s. For example, our simulation studies show that Sensitivity of a record linkage
task where only first name, last name, and 4 digit SSN yielded 82% sensitivity compared to the same task where full first
name, full middle name, full last name, 9 digit SSN, DOB, and gender were present.
Additionally, The Link King assumes that the user has verified that the fields selected to link records actually contain the
correct data elements. For example, if the user selects a field labeled “first_name” as the variable containing first name, The
Link King will assume that element only contains the client’s first name. If, in fact, the dataset is “dirty” and that field
sometimes contains something other than an individuals first name (e.g., a full name than has not been parsed), linkage results
will be negatively impacted.
Copyright Camelot Consulting 2004