What Should You Expect in a Data Migration?

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For individuals or companies that have made the decision to implement Dynamics 365, or even companies that use other platforms; one of the first and most common predicaments is migrating data. Data is at the heart of your business, and it powers everything you do. 

Ensuring that your data is up-to-date saves your business money, increases your organization’s efficiency, and improves your customers’ experience. Developed with both businesses and technical users in mind, Dynamic Consultants Group’s data management solution offers data cleansing and enrichment services to ensure that your data is both accurate and optimized to fit your business needs.

Undertaking a data migration and entering data into a new CRM is a time-consuming proposition. In order to execute this successfully, we are going to discuss what all a data migration entails for your company, and what to expect when migrating data from one place to another.

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ETL

Extract. Transform. Load. These terms sound like they should be associated with conducting mining operations or major industrial processes, but they are the three major processes needed to perform a successful data migration. To back up a step, a data migration is a process of transferring data between any combination of data systems, data formats or data storage types. 

Choosing a data migration model that aligns with your business requirements is essential to make sure that any data migration is both smooth and successful. Delivering business value in terms of performance, security, and ROI is the main focus. With Dynamic Consultants Group, Each step of ETL process will be tailored to your individual needs and desired outcomes to ensure all extracted data is processed and transformed for successful loading into the data warehouse.

Extract

Businesses today collect and store data in a variety of sources — each with their own way of organizing and storing that data — and oftentimes the amount of data can make this first step in the ETL process the most time-consuming.

 The extraction portion of a data migration is the process that produces a copy of the original data in a format that is usable in the environment that will transform the data. This step is focused on obtaining data as efficiently as possible.

Transform

After the data has been extracted, it then undergoes a transformation (i.e. conversion) to meet the requirements of the target system and your business needs. This step can involve: 

  • Cleansing and validating data to ensure only quality data is migrated to the new system 
  • Sorting the data into columns or rows to improve usability and searchability
  • Combining or merging data from multiple source systems and taking out duplicate data
  • Applying business rules to the data
  • Creating data validation rules that can be automated to check for data for quality and accuracy
  • Generating new identifiers or records for new functionality
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This process entails several transformation types that ensure the quality and integrity of data. Without this step, businesses can’t be confident in the data being migrated or integrated into the target system — which can mean weeks or even months of effort and budget lost!

 Another important part of migrating data is also determining which data does not need to be migrated into the new system, since it may be redundant, inconsistent or unnecessary. We utilize direct SQL code to enforce all the necessary rules to transform source data into the data for a new system resulting in an efficient migration. 

Load

The Load step concludes the ETL process with the loading of the extracted and transformed data into the final system. The successful completion, as well as the complexity of this step, is dependent on the volume of data, the structure of that data, and the frequency at which the data is loaded. In the ETL process of pulling data from multiple sources, there may be data that is not optimized for business use and analytics. Through ETL data can be migrated to a central data warehouse in a standardized format, which is much more suitable for business intelligence.

With the importance placed on being able to make data-driven decisions, it is critical to take proactive measures to ensure final data quality. Cleansing, validating, reducing duplicates, and profiling data are best practices that not only provide faster time-to-value for ETL, but empower organizations to make far better use of the data they have.

Each step of the ETL process will be tailored to your individual needs and desired outcomes to ensure all extracted data is processed and transformed for successful loading into the data warehouse.

Loading data is the final phase in the data migration process, and is the process of loading extracted and transformed data records into the new CRM system, which can be accessed and edited by users in the new CRM. Once data is loaded, the migration process is complete.

How do you Begin the Data Migration Process?

Analysis

Before starting your project, you need to make sure that you have a clearly defined goal and a strategy to accomplish this. This should consider budget, timeline, team, etc. 

Where is your data? Where do you want it to be? We work to identify any gaps or improvements that need to be addressed by analyzing the existing data and the data to be transferred, as well as verifying the completed trial migration.

The Goal of the Data Migration Assessment is to Ensure:

  • Everyone is on the same page on the process and what can and will be transferred from your existing system(s) to the new system
  • We get an exact mapping and scheduling of the data on the current system(s) that will be moved
  • Everyone understands the complexities which dictate the scope of the data migration
  • Everything goes smoothly when we migrate your data to your new CRM system

What Happens During Data Migration?

Pre-review and make checklist

We will provide a data migration checklist, which helps to gather key information regarding your system prior to the Review and Analysis phase of the project. This will assist in determining the primary areas of focus and identify any areas that need more investigation.

Backup and transfer of the data

We will request a backup and transfer of the data to be migrated with specific backup instructions based on your existing CRM solution.

Data mapping and scheduling documents

Using the Review and Analysis meeting feedback, we will create the migration and scheduling documents that will be used during the data migration.

Data migration

Once the migration is tested and the data is checked and approved, we migrate your most current data to your new CRM system.

What Happens After Data Migration?

Successful Roll-Out

After migrating data, your data migration is completed. Dynamic Consultants Group is focused on ensuring your short-term data migration success, and being your ongoing guide.

Microsoft is making great progress in simplifying data configuration and migration management which is great news for both Dynamic’s customers and partners! Dynamic Consultants Group believes that when it comes to data migration and many other IT services, failing to plan is the same as planning to fail. With Data Migration Consulting from Dynamic Consultants Group, we will take the time to assess what your company truly needs, and advise you every step of the way to complete a successful migration.

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