FAQs - Identify API

Miscellaneous (but useful) information on the Person Identify API

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What's the difference between the Person Enrichment API, Person Search, Person Retrieve and Identify API?

We have multiple Person-related API's, so how are they all different? A quick one-sentence summary of each endpoint is as follows:

Person Retrieve: Directly looks up a specific profile using its PDL ID.

Person Enrichment: Finds the single best profile matching certain attributes about a particular person.

Identify: Finds the best selection of profiles associated with a particular set of attributes for a person or related persons.

Person Search: Finds all the profiles for any number of persons that satisfy some search criteria.

Here's a table to summarize some of the key differences as well:

Person RetrievePerson EnrichmentPerson IdentifyPerson Search
Matching Type1:11:11:Many1:Many
Input CleaningNoYesYesNo
Supported Query ParametersNone - direct profile lookup by IDOnly supported inputs, which must be uniquely identifyingOnly supported inputs, which do not need to be uniquely identifyingAnything in Person Schema
Number of Profiles per Unique Query11Up to 20No limit
Sorting of Returned ProfilesN/A - only 1 profile is returnedN/A - only the single best-matched profile is returnedSorted by match scoreSorted by profile completeness

The key takeaway here is that the Identify API sits between our Enrichment and Search API in terms of functionality.

Compared to the Person Enrichment API, which returns a single record for a single person, the Identify API supports broader search inputs returning multiple strongly-related profiles. This means the Identify API is ideal for situations where you do not have enough information to uniquely resolve a person and are interested in recovering highly-probable candidates, while the Person Enrichment API is better suited to targeted enrichment when you have enough uniquely identifying information.

Compared to the Person Search API, the Identify API has standardized input parameters and provides a match score for each returned profile. This means that you can use the Identify API to recover a focused selection of highly related profiles, unlike the Person Search API, which will return a potentially large demographic cross-section of our person dataset with more loosely-related profiles.


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