To Migrate Your ERP Data Successfully, Follow These 4 Steps
In any business, inventory, staff, and data are considered to be valuable assets. Data includes information related to the supply chain, internal processes, finances, customers, and more which plays a vital role in the day-to-day operations as well as the bottom line. Therefore, it's important to preserve, protect and ensure reliable access to the data.
With the advancement in technology and digital transformation, businesses are opting for enterprise resource planning (ERP) technology as it provides a single source of truth for better decision-making.
Data migration from one system to another, especially to a fully modernized and industry-specific ERP platform, may seem daunting, but with a solid plan and careful execution, it can be accomplished successfully. The following four steps and best practices can be followed for successful ERP data migration.
1. Establish the scope
Before starting any project, it's crucial to lay the groundwork by identifying the various sources of data you will use, whether they be on-site servers, external drives, or previous business solutions. It's essential to include both essential data, such as master data, and historical and live transactional data, as well as to be selective and evaluate the usefulness and value of the information going forward. It's important to involve key stakeholders in the process as they can provide valuable insight into what data is essential to their role.
Additionally, understanding the current formats of the data will aid in the planning process. Remember to proceed systematically, build in contingency plans and be flexible while ensuring accountability.
2. Establish a team for data migration
When undertaking a critical initiative such as an ERP data migration, it is important to ensure that the right individuals are involved. Assess the current personnel for their suitability for the task and involve them, even if they are not in leadership positions.
Prioritize those who already have knowledge of best practices for ERP data migration. If no one on the current staff possesses this knowledge, consider hiring someone specifically for this purpose. The team should have experience not only in the general industry but also in the company's specific processes and the data that is generated and collected. This may require a mix of individuals from different departments, including the shop floor and IT.
Additionally, it is important to work closely with the ERP provider, utilizing their expertise to ensure a successful migration.
3. Establish Standards
The process of transferring data from written records, digital spreadsheets, legacy systems, or older ERP to a new ERP solution involves "translating" the information to a uniform format that the new ERP can accept. This is known as data mapping. Before starting the mapping process, it's important to review the information you have, assess its relevance, and only keep what's essential.
The data mapping process involves comparing the source data and its fields to the target data (or mapped data) in the new ERP and establishing rules for how the information will be translated. The rules may vary depending on the source and may require a field-by-field analysis, but it's crucial to not rush or skip this step.
4. Validate, Check, Clean, and Reconcile
When planning to migrate data from one system to another, it is important to test the migration procedure with small batches and sample sets before implementing it on a large scale. This will help you to see how your strategy plays out in practice and make any necessary revisions. By starting with small batches, you can identify and correct any issues that arise before they become major problems. As you progress, you can gradually increase the amount of data migrated, but it is essential to validate each batch and correct any errors before proceeding.
During the migration process, you may also find opportunities to cleanse your data. For example, historical data may not fit the parameters of your new system or may become invalid during the migration process. This information can still be retained and archived for future reference, but it may not need to be included in your new system.
Another important consideration is compliance with relevant regulations. Depending on the industry and region in which your business operates, there may be regulations that have implications for the handling of consumer information. For example, the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) and Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) both have specific requirements for the protection of personal data.
In conclusion, data migration is a critical aspect of any ERP implementation and should be carefully planned and executed to ensure success. By following the four steps outlined in this blog organizations can ensure that their data migration is efficient, accurate, and seamless.
Additionally, involving all relevant stakeholders, testing and monitoring the process, and having a rollback plan in place can help mitigate potential issues and ensure a successful data migration.