Data Can Be Complicated - Start With A Migration Plan!

  • Sep 24, 19
  • Ashley Zuelke

At Endiem everyone goes to data jail! If you're an experienced Admin, you know how it feels to be "serving time" with your data—it’s no fun scrubbing and moving data, but the job has to be done.

In it’s most simplistic form, data migration consists of the modification of data and transmitting it from one storage location to another. For example, moving contact data from Outlook to Salesforce or related Accounts, Contacts, and Opportunities from one Salesforce org to another. Some data migrations are more complex than others, but in the end, we like to say, “it’s just data." We can think of it as “just data” because we have a methodology and a process to make it happen. 

Here are the common steps to any data migration:

  • Plan
    • Every data migration starts with a toolset of best practices and a solid plan. The planning process can also be broken down into the following phases:
      • Tool Selection: Define which tools you will use
        • Data cleansing - Do multiple people need to collaborate on the data? In that case, Google Sheets. Only need 1 person to edit? Use excel
        • For migration - will you use Data Import, Data Load, or some other tool?
      • Extraction: Remove data from the current system and save it in the tool of choice
      • Transformation: Modify or enhance data to represent its new forms, for example: Changing data from checkbox format to a picklist with new options
      • Cleansing: De-duplicate, run tests, and address any corrupted data
      • Validation: Test and retest that moving the data to the target location provides the expected response
  • Migrate
    • This involves the transfer of data and metadata from one (old) storage location to another, a new location
      • Migration includes saving data files as .csv, a requirement for tools Data Wizard, Data Loader, or
  • Validate
    • Review a sample size of the data you have loaded in the new location
    • Have a “friendly” user review the data to ensure you have a second set of eyes and sign off from the project team before confirming the job is done

If your organization has data migrations planned in the near future, take some time to ensure that you have a well-thought-out plan to seamlessly execute. When all is said and done, data is one of the most strategic assets you have—do not fall victim to the typical pitfalls.

Be sure to start thinking about the various challenges that could be encountered, how to tackle them, and when to call in the cavalry. We’re here to help with those data migration projects that are just too hairy to tackle, so reach out!