6 Steps for a Smooth Data Migration

February 8, 2017       The NonProfit Times      
    Moving data from one database to another can get messy — especially if you haven’t planned for every stage of the process. These seven steps will help you efficiently convert your info into a shiny new database system.

  1. Think Through the Logistics: Assigning an experienced staffer to own the project and the data is essential for keeping the project on time and on budget.
  2. Clean Your Data: You don’t have to do it all up front (there are many post-conversion tools to help with cleaning), but the more you do before the conversion the more useful your new system will be after.
  3. Create Policies and Procedures: Unless you document the rules for what goes into the system and how it’s entered, you’re in danger of creating a system full of inconsistent and confusing data.
  4. Develop a Map: Think through the fields in your old database and match them up to the fields in your new system. The document you create in this process can serve as a map to show your team how to move the data and check to see if the conversion was successful. This is the surest way to make sure your data is usable in your new system.
  5. Test Your Conversion: A conversion is rarely perfect on the first try. Or the second. Leaving plenty of time to test and adjust will mean less pressure on your conversion specialists and staff members to get the job done and more chances to make sure it’s done right.
  6. Convert Your Data: If planned properly, this step is simply a matter of handing off your data and going live with your new system.