Nowadays with advancements in technologies, businesses depend more on applications and databases to operate efficiently. With new technologies in the market, businesses are also upgrading their ongoing systems and technologies, which means they are migrating from old systems to new systems.
Thus moving data also becomes an important part of this migration and that can be a complicated process, especially if a new system or technology requires conversion of the data in a new format, this process of data transfer or movement of data from old to a new system is known as data migration.
The majority of companies hesitate to undertake data migration due to some challenges such as lack of collaboration, data security, lack of integrated process, lack of competency in analyzing the flow. However, companies can tackle all the challenges by adopting some of the best practices for data migration and by focusing on all the small details.
Data Migration Best Practices
Here are some of the best practices for successful data migration:
Focusing on the Old Database
No company wants to carry redundant data to the new database infrastructure or system, hence, it is always better to focus on an old database and go through it to sort some relevant data. Moreover, if there is any unwanted data in the old database then it can be deleted. By cleaning up the old database, the company will just carry only important data to a new system and only useful data will be transferred thus saving both effort and time.
Back-Up Plan Before Execution
Taking a back up plan and then moving towards execution is the safest way to ensure that data is stored somewhere safe so that even if something wrong happens during data transfer the data is still safe. Thus, having a back up before proceeding with data transfer is important. Moreover, the company or an individual should always store data in the tested backup system that can ensure the safety of data.
Seeking Assistance and Advice from Experts
It is always better to hire some experts who can do better for the database of the company as compared to other service providers. The expert can handle databases easily and also help in creating and executing effective data migration processes.
Experts can also help a company to decide whether to opt for a data migration process in Codeigniter or Laravel. With the experience of performing data migration multiple times for different sizes of companies, experts can understand the need for data migration for a company in a better way.
Prioritizing Important Data
The data migration process uses two types of methods including carrying a data migration process in parts and as a whole. While opting for data migration one should always prioritize or rank the data being transferred. This way a company can transfer the most important data first and then move on with the transfer of low-risk data.
Generally, data migration in parts or phase-based data migration processes is considered very secure due to the testing carried out at each level of data migration.
Common Challenges in Data Migration
The majority of the companies opt for data migration services to reduce the operational cost and stay ahead of the competitors. However, these companies often overlook some of the common challenges related to data migration, which results in loss of data and security. Therefore, it is very important to understand the common challenges related to data migration.
Data Loss Risk
In absence of deliberate effort by the external source the data present in the old database can get lost while migrating into the new database, this is called data loss. Loss of the data during the data migration process is very common and can harm the business process.
Once the important data is lost the company or an individual should rectify the loss of the data, which is also a financial commitment. Instead of reducing the operation cost, the company may incur more financial loss.
However, reconciliation can be one of the solutions for data loss. The company can develop two reconciliations including key financial and count columns. With this, the company can compare the records stored in the old database to the new database and find out if there has been any data loss.
When the data format in an old database system differs from the new database system this is called data corruption. This is a common issue to find redundant data during the data migration process. Data corruption usually results in concerns related to data integrity. Moreover, data corruption can ruin the goal of data migration.
To track and save data by getting corrupted is to validate the data from every column and row from the old database system to a new database system. Three types of data validation methods are a subset of data validation, sample data validation, and complete data validation.
Risk of Semantics
The difference in the unit of measurement between old and new databases, despite the same meaning, it is considered as different entities. In this case, it is important to see that data is not corrupted or lost, however, it is also important to alter the unit of measurement to reach the real value.
The solution to this challenge is to broaden the scope of the test case and detect the risk of semantics at a very early stage of the data migration process. Meanwhile, the test case should include instances with incompatibilities and inconsistencies between the old and new databases.
In case of lack of the tools for the data validation process, testers can track the objects manually and compare these objects available in sources and in the target by simply seeing at a screen.
Risk of Interference
Interference risk is the risk to access a particular table from the database. For example, one person is extracting data from a table and then freezes it, meanwhile, another person is trying to access the same data and is unable to do so.
The risk of interference is not considered a challenge when there is less number of stakeholders in the business, however, when the business is expanding and scalable, it can result in dissatisfaction among stakeholders.
To manage the risk of interference in a better way at an organizational level, it is important to analyze such risk at a planning stage of the data migration process. Moreover, the individual can run multiple mocks by providing access to some stakeholders to identify the issue.
Important Tips for Successful Data Migration
Tip #1. Identifying Stakeholders
Identification of the stakeholders is important during data migration as during a merger or a partnership some roles may not be very clear. Ensuring buy-ins from relevant parties and also defining the person responsible for signing off at each and every stage.
Tip #2. Including Experts
After the successful merger and acquisition, there are many systems that need to be managed and merged, thus, it is important to define the task of each person in the IT department and decide who will carry a particular task to avoid any duplication.
The company can also include the data migration expert in case of the absence of necessary skills required for data migration and managing process. Moreover, after merger and acquisition, the company needs to be in good shape and cannot risk its market image due to a lack of experts to carry out the data migration process.
Tip #3. Profiling the Data
It is important to understand the data as identifying the issue in the data quality at an early stage can help the company to understand what it is dealing with. The company can also identify the resources required and cost that will be incurred to solve various issues. Moreover, knowing what the company is dealing with can also save its time and essential resources to work on other important tasks.
Tip #4. Locating the Location of Data
The company usually stores data in many different places and in different ways. Thus, it is important to know the location of each data, this can make it easy to prioritize which data needs to go when and where.
Tip #5. Cleansing and Converting Data
Standardizing the data to make it relevant and workable is important. Removing the unwanted and duplicate data and cleaning any errors in data in both the old and new systems is an important step in the data migration process. With this, the company can migrate the data that is useful, latest, and compatible with the new business ideas.
Tip #6. Using Sophisticated and Appropriate Tools
Using tried and tested tools for the data migration process can reduce the risk of any errors and data loss. This can also speed up the process of migration and give better results. The company should always use appropriate and tested tools for data migration that can also handle complex data migration such as merger and acquisition.
The tools should be such that they can easily transform and convert the data and deliver it to the right place in the right way and at the right time.
In a nutshell, data migration can be successful by selecting the right strategy and tools for the process. Laying down the roadmap and executing properly can result in the best outcomes. Companies can also hire software development companies or experts to carry the data migration process right from the planning to post-migration services.
About the Author!
Ritesh Patil is the co-founder of Mobisoft Infotech that helps startups and enterprises in mobile technology. He loves technology, especially mobile technology. He’s an avid blogger and writes on mobile applications. He works in a leading android development company with skilled android app developers that has developed innovative mobile applications across various fields such as Finance, Insurance, Health, Entertainment, Productivity, Social Causes, Education and many more and has bagged numerous awards for the same. Follow him on Twitter @ritesh_patil