Top 8 best practices and strategies for data migration

Whether you are moving to a cloud-based infrastructure, switching to a new vendor for a specific business platform, or acquiring a new line of business from an external party, you will likely be faced with the task to migrate large datasets to a new location. Data migration is more of a headache than most business initiatives because the potential for user errors, data loss, and miscommunication is very high. In order to have a successful migration that takes into account the needs and goals of all departments, take a look at these data migration best practices and strategies before you begin.

Learn more about cloud migration: Effective Cloud Migration Strategies for Enterprise Networks

Tips for a successful enterprise data migration

  1. Develop a project plan with a clear scope and schedule
  2. Create an interdepartmental working group
  3. Evaluate the data that needs to be migrated
  4. Clean data before migration
  5. Check regulatory compliance requirements for migration
  6. Identify the necessary suppliers, partners and products
  7. Back up your data and develop a risk management strategy
  8. Periodically review migration with Agile methodology

1. Develop a project plan with a clear scope and schedule

Before starting a data migration project, it’s important to create a detailed project plan with clear goals for your data and the teammates involved. Ask yourself the following questions when developing your project plan:

  • What to migrate
  • Where does it migrate?
  • Who should be involved in this process?
  • Who will be responsible for ensuring that data is used correctly before, during and after the migration process?
  • What is a reasonable time for completion?

Asking these questions up front ensures that you’re on budget, including the right people, and backing up the right data before making drastic changes to your portfolio.

A project plan template to get you started: Use a project plan template for your next project

2. Create an interdepartmental working group

Data migrations are typically handled by an IT or data science team, but those teams may not realize the full depth and breadth of how data is used and how the migration will affect other teams. To ensure clear communication and a data migration plan that works for every data user, create an interdepartmental working group to lead the data migration. The IT team will necessarily be more involved in the actual migration process, but members of the operations, marketing and even HR teams who regularly deal with this data need to be fully informed of how each step of the migration will affect their work. .

Some tech teams may be concerned that the inclusion of non-tech teammates will slow down the migration timeline, but it will likely have the opposite effect. Teammates from other departments bring a different perspective and often raise significant concerns about a data transfer before it becomes a problem. In other words, the combined workgroup strategy might cause some steps to take longer, but it will likely save time in the future by preventing complex overhauls of datasets and platforms. shapes. To be most successful with your combined team, consider taking an ITOps approach to help with cross-team strategy.

Learn more about ITOps: Bring hyper-automation to ITOps

3. Evaluate the data to migrate

Some data may stay where it is now. Some data may be duplicate data or data that is no longer needed. Evaluate the data to be migrated before starting the migration process to save time and reduce costs. Several tools on the market, such as data deduplication and other data quality software, can automate the data evaluation process.

4. Clean data before migration

You don’t want to duplicate existing data issues in a new location, especially in larger data sets which will become more difficult to audit as they grow. Take the time you have set aside for migration to also clean the data through data annotation, data governance, data deduplication and other data quality tools. You will be surprised at the number of records that require easy corrections.

5. Check the regulatory compliance requirements for the migration

Especially if your organization is required to follow certain data regulations such as HIPAA Where GDPR, you are responsible for customer data, how it is used and who uses it at all times. Ask yourself these important data governance questions before you begin your data migration to avoid damaging data usage breaches:

  • Does your new platform align with the regulatory requirements of your industry and business? Are there any add-ons or backups that you need to put in place in order to make the new platform compliant?
  • Will you be breaking any laws or rules during the migration if you don’t follow specific steps with the data?
  • Will any of your teammates need certain permissions to work with customer data during the migration?
  • Do you have security measures in place to protect data in transit?

Regulatory violations can have financial and even criminal consequences, not to mention the damage they can cause to a company’s reputation. If you’re not sure whether a platform or plan meets industry standards and guidelines, be sure to seek legal advice before compromising your users’ personal data.

Learn more about compliance management: Five tips for managing compliance on corporate networks

6. Identify the necessary suppliers, partners and products

Data migration is an important task that can be simplifiedand even automatedwith data migration tools and partners specializing in data migration. Especially if you work in a niche industry, look for solutions and partners who know your particular needs and how you plan to use your data after migration.

7. Back up your data and develop a risk management strategy

No matter how carefully you plan and how many expert technicians and tools you bring to the data migration process, there is always the possibility of data loss or unwanted data manipulation. To protect yourself against worst-case data scenarios, you will need to take these two main steps: back up your most important data before migration, and develop a comprehensive risk management strategy.

The technology market offers several data backup solutions that can make copies of your data for saving offline and in other secure environments. Data backup and recovery is one of the easiest and most effective ways to make sure your data can be recovered in the event of an accident.

A risk management strategy is a plan that describes the potential risks in a project, the origin of the risks and how the organization should react if that risk arises. Risk management strategies often exist at the more general organizational level, but for a large project like data migration, it is important to update your strategy for that specific use case or create an entirely separate strategy. Your risk management strategy team should not only include executives for data migration, but should also include executives such as chief risk officers (CROs) and maybe even a legal or insurance expert for support. additional.

Learn more about the risk management tools and strategy: Best risk management software for 2021

8. Review migration periodically with Agile methodology

Data migration can completely ruin business data and platforms if the data migration strategy is not periodically evaluated and updated. Consider adopting a agile project management methodology for your migration and complete the movement of data in brief pushes or iterations. Don’t be afraid to rotate or adjust the scope of your project over time, as you’ll likely find errors that need to be fixed or discover new best practices that can improve your overall data migration strategy.

Find the right tool for a successful cloud migration project: Top 2021 Enterprise Cloud Migration Tools and Services

Sean N. Ayres