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Data exchange

6 ways implementation teams can conquer data migration

Data migration isn’t easy, but it’s necessary for any organization that wants to upgrade its systems, consolidate data or move to new platforms. Implementation teams and System integrators (SIs) know all too well that ensuring a seamless data migration is critical for maintaining data integrity, minimizing downtime and ensuring business continuity.

Unfortunately, implementation teams often face a number of frustrating moments during the process that can impact the success of the migration. If they aren’t addressed effectively, these pain points can have numerous business implications.

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The pain of data migration

During migration, companies sometimes experience delays, reduced data availability or disruptions to regular workflows, which can significantly impact productivity and customer service.

Companies rely heavily on their systems to carry out daily operations, and any prolonged delays can have severe consequences. Implementation teams strategize ways to minimize delays and ensure a smooth transition without disrupting business activities.

Companies can’t cut over to a new system until they know that system is going to run seamlessly. If migration is delayed and the target cutover date can’t be realized, the company will be forced to continue running on the legacy system longer than expected, causing enormous disruptions and forcing teams to adjust everything from timelines and resource allocation to user expectations. Because of these possible complications, implementation teams need to carefully plan the migration process to minimize delays and ensure a smooth transition.

Preparing for data migration, implementation teams can feel like they’re burning hours, going back and forth with people who know the old system and team members with varying degrees of technical proficiency who have or understand specific data needs. They need to practice the migration with the old system still running, deal with the data that’s still changing until the cutover point, get everything ready for cutover, rerun everything repeatedly and finally get the data to the right place. It’s exhausting!

But what if it didn’t have to be that hard? What if teams could easily bring in old data, take a look at it and not only fix it, but use tools like AI to fix it much more easily than ever before? What if they could efficiently and securely collaborate across teams and easily share data for better and simpler communication?

Projects would be faster and less expensive, demand on resources would be reduced, implementation teams could be better organized, companies could have happier customers eager to do more with them and teams could move on to their next projects faster.

How implementation teams can streamline data migration

Implementation teams need to be able to navigate the challenges and complexities of the migration process with precision and expertise. Fortunately, there are solutions available that allow any company to safely and efficiently migrate data from legacy databases, systems or files. Even if that data arrives in a wide variety of formats that all need mapping, review, cleanup and validation.

Here are the key areas in which implementation teams can streamline, simplify and conquer the data migration process:

  1. Data mapping and transformation

  2. Data quality and validation

  3. Security and compliance

  4. Collaboration and communication

  5. Automation

  6. AI

Data mapping and transformation

One of the biggest stumbling blocks teams encounter during data migration is the complexity and diversity of data structures and formats. Different systems may use disparate data models, schemas and formats, making it difficult to accurately map and align the data. This makes it hard to preserve the integrity and usability of the data in the new environment.

An automated and intelligent solution for data preparation and migration can provide a framework and appropriate engine to retrieve data stored in varying formats (including proprietary databases, files or legacy systems) and transform and map it to fit the schema of the target system seamlessly. This transformation process requires careful planning and execution to avoid data distortion or loss of essential information.

Data quality and validation

One of the primary pain points for implementation teams during data migration is ensuring data integrity and consistency. When moving data from one system to another, especially when dealing with large volumes of information, there’s a risk of data errors, loss or misalignment. Maintaining the accuracy and reliability of the data throughout the migration process is critical, and any discrepancies can have far-reaching implications for the organization.

Data quality is a critical concern. Over time, data in the old system may have become outdated, redundant or inconsistent. Implementation teams need to clean and standardize the data before migrating it to the new system to ensure that poor-quality data doesn't compromise the new system. This data cleaning and validation process can significantly prolong the timeline. However, similar to mapping and transformation, intelligent automation can vastly improve and accelerate the migration process by automating the many repetitive tasks, identifying and rectifying data errors automatically and flagging issues for manual review.

Security and compliance

Data security and compliance can present even more obstacles. Implementation teams must uphold data privacy regulations, prevent unauthorized access and secure data during transit and at rest. Compliance with industry standards like GDPR and HIPAA adds layers of complexity to data migration initiatives and requires strict measures to safeguard sensitive information.

A comprehensive, enterprise scale solution for data preparation and migration will be designed from the ground up to support appropriate data security and compliance with industry standards, ensuring that sensitive data is protected during the migration process. This is critical for any team working with sensitive or regulated data.

Collaboration and communication

Besides technical challenges, effective communication and collaboration with stakeholders are also crucial for successful data migration. The constant back-and-forth with team members familiar with the old system and those familiar with specific segments of the data (who may or may not have deep technical knowledge) can be a significant drain on resources.

Real-time collaboration can be a definite advantage when working with complex data sets or multiple stakeholders. A data migration solution may offer enhanced collaboration across teams and diverse stakeholders as well as capabilities like shared views, which is the easiest way to literally and figuratively keep your team on the same page while discussing a specific segment of data.

Some solutions also take advantage of critical data security principles like Zero Trust collaboration, which implements a "never trust, always verify" model to ensure secure data sharing and manipulation across multiple users.

Automation

Automation helps organizations streamline complex workflows by reducing or eliminating repetitive tasks and ensuring data integrity throughout the entire data migration process. It can help implementation teams automatically enforce consistent formats and structures, identify errors, quickly transform vast amounts of data and identify and provide integrations with external data sources.

By leveraging a solution that offers automation, implementation teams can streamline and accelerate the data migration process even more successfully. Automation can reduce manual effort, minimize errors and ensure that data is accurately and efficiently transferred from the old systems to the new one.

AI

AI unlocks entirely new possibilities in the data migration process that can improve efficiency, user experience and data quality dramatically. Some of the ways AI can improve the data migration process include enhanced data mapping, highly automated data cleaning, transformation and validation and a much more powerful user experience..

From real-time, context-aware guidance to natural language search that can understand queries in plain English, AI can make complex data migration tasks surprisingly simple. It can assist in data cleaning by automatically identifying and fixing inconsistencies, errors and missing values, learning from patterns in your data. It can also help to automate the process of validating information against predefined rules, ensuring accuracy and reliability. It’s a transformative force for optimizing processes.

Data exchange: The future of data migration

The evolving nature of technology and software systems is a major factor in the complexity of data migration. Migrating data from an old system to a new one demands careful planning, execution, and follow-up. By taking advantage of a data exchange solution that is specifically designed to support complex data preparation and migration processes, implementation teams can ensure a successful data migration, minimizing risks and maximizing the new system's benefits for the organization.

The Flatfile Data Exchange Platform is designed to enhance efficiency, data accuracy and communication during the data preparation and migration process. By providing highly customizable automation and advanced data collection, mapping, transformation and validation capabilities, as well as AI-powered features that will speed up your data migration process, Flatfile can help teams deal efficiently with all of the real-world migration challenges they face.

To learn how you can improve your data migration process, accelerate your implementation projects and significantly reduce project cost, contact Flatfile today.

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