Data migration is the process of transferring data between storage types, formats or software packages. If you are upgrading your software to a new program it will be necessary to transfer your data from your old program to your new program. All too often people assume that this is a fairly routine exercise. Usually, nothing could be further from the truth.
If you are setting up new Quickbooks or Sage accounting programs, it is essential that the proper accounts and options are created in order to ensure the most accurate and efficient operation. All of the existing financial information must be correctly entered for your results to be accurate. Let us perform this task for you and we will demonstrate all the hidden tricks that will improve the efficient operation of your bookkeeping system.
If you have two software programs that each utilizes much of the same data, it would be most efficient to electronically transfer that data from one program to another rather than enter it twice.
Unfortunately, one program usually stores the data in a different format, with different fields, organized differently, than another program. Therefore, it is necessary to convert the data. So whether you are upgrading programs or sharing similar data across different programs, careful planning and analysis is required in order to implement a successful migration of your data.
There are two main approaches to data migration – big bang migrations and trickle migrations. Which is the correct approach is dependent on the nature of your business and the amount of data.
With a big bang migration the system affected is taken off-line and all the data is transferred at once. In other words, new data cannot be entered during the transition phase. This can be scheduled for a weekend, but what if something goes wrong? How long can your business operate with the data system off-line? For this reason, this approach is rarely used.
With trickle migrations the data is migrated incrementally. The old system and the new system are operated in parallel and the data is migrated in phases. Careful planning and monitoring of data is required, in order to ensure that any new entries to the old system are mirrored in the new system. Operating two systems in parallel is time consuming and complex.
We believe the preferred approach, in most situations, is a hybrid of the two approaches. This involves a big bang migration of data, followed by vigorous testing and validation of the results. Meanwhile, the old system continues to operate. Once the big bang migration has proven to be successful, if the entry of the new data in the old system can be accurately tracked, that data is then entered into the new system. If the entry of the new data cannot be tracked, the data in the new system is removed and then a big bang transfer of all the old, but updated, data is implemented.
Whatever the approach, it is necessary to extract the data from your old or originating program, convert it to your new program format and then migrate or transfer it into the new or receiving program. This process is known as mapping, which converts the old data format into the new data format.The following is a general outline of the process:
Determine the old and new data formats.
Determine the volume of data to be transferred and identify any redundant data that should not be migrated.
Confirm that the new or receiving software will permit the electronic import of the old data.
Identify and develop the tools and software required for data extraction and conversion.
Extract the data from the old system, either by an available export feature or via reports.
Convert the format of the old data into the format required by the new or receiving software.
Import or transfer the data into the new or receiving software.
Verify, verify, verify that the migration was successful, namely that the data was accurately converted and imported, is complete and supports the process of the new or receiving software.
During the process we will perform the necessary data cleaning to improve data quality and eliminate redundant or obsolete data.
During verification there may be a need for a parallel run of both systems to identify areas of disparity and avoid erroneous data loss.
We will perform this daunting data migration task for you. This difficult, but essential, task requires a customized, hands-on approach. We will provide a personal and individualized response to your needs and requirements. If we are unable to deliver a successful data migration there will be no charge.
Contact Financial Fitness for a free no-obligation "fitness" review of your data conversion and migration requirements. We will provide you with a firm quote for our services and discuss a timetable for the process.