3 Tips for Easy Migration of Legacy Data
The time has arrived, and you cannot put it off any longer! It is time to look at migrating legacy data into your new software application.
We all know that data migration can seem like such a big (and let’s face it unrewarding) task. So how can we turn such a necessary evil into a positive experience?
Regardless of if you are installing software for the first time or transitioning to an alternate software provider, data migration can form up to 60% of your project labour costs when it comes to software deployment. That is why I would like to draw your attention to these 3 seemingly small matters that constantly cause the biggest headaches when it comes to data migration.
Make data migration a separate project
Moving data can put several stakeholders on edge and that is why we recommend you make a separate project for data migration. Having a solid plan is a must but try not to reinvent the wheel. Make sure you have assigned the correct resources, budget and time to this function. Ensure that these team members are empowered and informed. That they have access to all legacy data and tools available to extract, transform and reload data.
Make sure you have addressed data governance and informed all stakeholders of any issues.
Have realistic expectations about what you are expecting from your data, this includes thinking about what data you want to import, the level of detail you expect from the system’s reports and dashboards and how far back you want your records to go.
Having a separate migration project ensures value is measured and delivered to the business.
This is probably the most laborious part of implementing new software, but if done correctly has the biggest return on investment.
Today legacy data will come from multiple sources, such as paper forms, third parties, existing spreadsheets or software applications. The trick is to consolidate all this information into the one place and then cleanse any mistakes prior to importing.
Our top 5 causes of dirty data include:
- Missing, incomplete, corrupt or outdated records such as training certification, addresses, phone numbers
- Duplication of entries such as having multiple entries for the same customer
- Misrepresentation of data ie New South Wales also being entered as NSW
- Spelling or punctuation errors of individual names or addresses
- Incorrect formatting especially when it comes to number, currency or date fields
We recommend you copy all your data into a single spreadsheet, then run filters, alphabetical sorts and VLookups to identify any possible errors. Hold onto this spreadsheet as many software applications have automated data import functionality which make it super easy to import your data.
It may sound silly, but make sure that all mandatory fields have valid values before you try importing your data.
Step through instructions
There is nothing worse than rework associated with having to back data out because it was entered out of sequence.
Before you start migrating your data, review your software’s help guides, implementation checklists or contact their support representatives to ensure you enter your data in the correct sequence.
If you have an extensive amount of data that needs to be migrated, be sure to check with your software provider to confirm if there any Bulk API upload restrictions. Remember uploading large amounts of data may cause system performance issues such as slow uploads or session time outs.
It is also advantageous to confirm that there is no planned software outage scheduled for when you are looking to enter your data.
Let’s face it data migration is not the most exciting or stimulating part of software implementation! That’s why the team at QicWorks have created these following tools to make legacy data migration simple, flexible and streamlined:
- Simply use our Upload Wizard to ensure the correct upload sequence.
- We also have secure API connectivity with major accounting, safety and CRM software providers, so that your single-entry data can be effortlessly pulled or pushed between applications.
- We also have great training and help documentation. As well as offering personalised training opportunities to individuals or organisations.
Moving legacy data is always a journey but with the above tips, and patience it can certainly be rewarding.
The information contained within this blog is of a general nature only. It does not take your specific needs or circumstances into consideration. You should look at your own situation and legislative requirements before making any decisions