Article
Written by Alice Payne
Posted on 15/12/2015

Stumbling blocks when it comes to data migration

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Eighty-five percent of businesses who engage in data migration projects experience significant problems during the process, according to a recent study by Experian Data Quality. Data migrations remain a crucial element of managing data and gathering valuable insight, but they can cause considerable problems due to the complex nature of system upgrades, mergers and data consolidations.

The five most common issues

Despite the vast range of businesses engaging in data migrations, and the diverse systems and resources involved, there are a number of common stumbling blocks encountered across the board. Understanding these challenges from the outset and putting in place measures to circumvent them can save your business time and money, and ensure the data transition is as seamless as possible.

The most common issue is a lack of collaboration, something over a third of businesses experience. It’s critical to create a platform within the data migration process to enable knowledge sharing and collaboration – including for internal teams, technology providers and database consultants. Establishing clearly demarcated responsibilities, deliverables and a well-considered project plan can are important steps to enable better collaboration.

Following closely behind, a lack of standardisation or data consistency is the next common issue. Over time, as businesses grow and merge, different data systems can develop in parallel. However, inconsistent data and a lack of standardisation can preclude a company from leveraging data to its full potential. Before a migration takes place, it’s important to standardise your data so these issues aren’t carried over into your new system, creating additional cost and delay.

Poor system design affects 33 percent of businesses migrating their data. It’s important to spend as much time on this stage as needed, so your system design is watertight. Stress testing and a clear wireframe can flag up structural and design issues before you begin your migration.

Similar to inconsistent data, inaccurate information is the fourth most common stumbling block encountered during data migrations. If you can weed out inaccurate information from your data before transitioning it, you’ll save yourself time and resources. Leveraging a data quality solution with a data cleansing function can help ensure you only migrate valuable, high-quality data to leave you with a streamlined system.

The final data migration challenge is the poor interpretation of business rules. Communication is key here, to ensure the technology and business sides of your business are in sync throughout the migration. Experian’s study found that challenges arise when IT employees are left to interpret business jargon. It’s up to the business to outline requirements and ensure expectations of IT deliverables are clearly defined.