Have you ever moved to a new house? Then you know it’s a big job, but worth it once you’re enjoying your new space.
You also know that “moving day” is a bit of a misnomer, since the process often lasts for weeks.
Now, you could cram all your belongings into a truck and call it a day. But you wouldn’t get the “fresh start” you wanted. The care you take to plan, prep, move, and unpack is what makes the transition a success.
That’s why, to close out our Love It or List It series, we’re discussing data migration. Just like moving house, how you manage the process from start to finish makes a big difference.
If you’ve reached this exciting part of your data journey, consider applying these tips for a smoother—and more successful—transition to your new targeted platform.
1: Understand what it takes from the outset
Think about a time you moved, and everything went really well. You knew what it took to get the job done, and made sure to:
- Plan and prep (getting supplies, signing contracts, finishing house projects, etc.)
- Clean and purge, only keeping the items that would fit nicely in your new space.
- Pack strategically, labeling boxes so everything ends up in its proper place.
- Get help with the heavy lifting, so nothing is damaged or lost en route.
- And finally, reserve time to unpack and settle into your new space.
In the same way, data migration isn’t just a simple move from A to B. Every business has a unique migration path. Understanding and visualizing that process will help you work in the most effective and efficient way.
So, before you begin, make sure to:
- Plan, plan, plan. Consider factors like data sources, the volume of data, and what other assets (like images or metadata) need to move.
- Focus on data cleansing and profiling — and prep your new system before you move the clean data in.
- Create a framework to ensure your data will move in a predictable way, where nothing gets lost or corrupted. (Plus, you can use the framework for added governance even after migration)
- Leave no stone unturned. Ensure the entire process is led by a team of experts who can anticipate and resolve any issues — plus verify that the data transferred (and translated) as expected.
2: Be rigorous—and strategic—with data cleansing
A data migration offers the perfect opportunity to spring clean your data. It’s also an essential step for a successful migration.
The cleansing process can help you:
- Clearly identify what data you don’t want to move — like old data that is no longer accurate or relevant.
- Make sure the data you do want to move is complete, accurate, and reliable before it transfers into your shiny new system.
- Make choices about how you want to fix any issues, considering cost and impact.
Remember, it’s about completing data quality checks, as well as making strategic decisions.
Sometimes, correcting errors is as easy as a date format change (or another simple fix). Other times, correcting the data might require a physical action, like going into a warehouse to remeasure a box.
These variables add to the complexity. Is it okay to grandfather in some bad data? What’s the impact of doing so? If you need to fix it, what’s the investment? And will you get a worthwhile return?
To work through these choices, consider our final tip…
3: Understand your why
A data migration won’t be successful if you treat it as a copy/paste procedure. You’ll want to get the most from your platform investment — which means you need to understand your why.
A robust data migration strategy should assess and consider the outcomes you want to achieve with your new system. Once you have that, you can define and map your targeted system to those objectives — which helps guide important decisions about the migration process.
With thorough planning, you can achieve a complete source of data—accessible by the right people, at the right place, at the right time—to guide and support your business needs and goals.
Find the help you need
Data migration is a complex project — but finding the right help can make the process easier and more successful.
A change in your system landscape is usually part of a broader program. So, having experts who can capture and translate those requirements can drastically improve the success of your new system.
Look for data professionals who can sort your data correctly, understand the complexity of your migration, and walk you smoothly through each step.
At Amplifi, we believe data migration is a crucial part of your data strategy. To learn more about our expertise and breadth of services, download our Data Migration overview.
Want more advice on getting your data house in order? Read our Love It or List Series, including how to spruce up your data quality and build a strong data governance framework.