Data migration

Picture this; you’ve just been sold into a new platform. It’s amazing, it’s efficient, it’s fast, it’s cloud based, and it does everything you want it to and more!

You’re on a high, you’re excited and you’re getting your colleagues excited about the change, there’s a buzz in the air. But there’s also an elephant in the room, you still need to migrate your data from your existing platform into your shiny new, fancy, efficient, fast, cloud based platform…

Data migration is a necessary evil. No one wants to neglect the IP you’ve built up over the years. Think of the candidates you’ve placed multiple times, the clients who rely on you, the vacancies you’ve created and filled. You want to maintain that data and build upon it in your new system.

Data migration is difficult, it’s time consuming, and it’s hard work. No one wants to put their hand up for it but deep down you know it’s vital. And it’s not going to migrate itself.

So is it possible to make the experience easier and more successful? Absolutely!

Here are some tips to ensure that the IP you’ve been building over the years doesn’t get lost in the process…

  1. Be prepared to spend time on this. Be prepared to be able to answer questions about your data; what things are important to you? What do the different bits of data mean? Are they necessary to keep?
  2. Be prepared to engage a Data Migration Specialist, someone who is an expert at extracting data, transforming and inserting data. They should be able to take you through the process of identifying what’s important to you and what your data should look like once it has been migrated.
  3. Be prepared to delete data. Believe it or not Data Migration can be quite a cleansing process. It can afford you an opportunity to cleans your current database, think about candidates you’ve not engaged for over a decade…
  4. Use this as an opportunity to make your data more consistent. Quite often Data Migration Specialists are able to help gain consistency in your database. Have differences in the formatting of your Addresses? They can help. Missing area codes from phone numbers? This can often be added during this process too.
  5.  Be thorough! There is no substitute for being thorough. Mistakes can happen and if you’re afforded an opportunity to check the quality of the migration then take it and spend the time being thorough. It’s very important that you do this before you start using your new platform. Once the data is in and being used daily it is often impossible, not to mention costly to fix it.
  6. Be patient. Data Migration can take longer than people expect. Consider, you’re extracting data that has a certain home and you’re trying to put it into a new home. Like your home where everything has a place and there’s a place for everything we need to take the same approach to Data Migration. This can take time, especially if you are not totally familiar with your new platform.

Changing platforms is a big decision, one that would never be taken lightly. Consider your new platform being only as good as the data you put into it, so treat it with respect!

Happy migrating!

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Nick McGrath

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