One of the main reasons to do data cleansing is when you are planning to migrate to a new system. Data cleansing should be a part of your to do list when migrating to a new CRM, Marketing Automation Tool or Partner Portal. The following are the reasons why you should do data cleaning prior to migrating to the new system:

  • Field Mapping – When you are planning to migrate you may have new fields, fields in different formats or have a limitation on number of custom fields you may have. Therefore, you need to make sure your fields map and are according to the new system’s rules.
  • Historical Data – While you may want to bring all records to your new system. Some companies decide to only bring cleaned, up to date records and leave all historical data behind. In order to identify what records you want to bring over, it is important to take a look at what you currently have in the system.
  • Establish Data Governance – While cleaning historical data, you will uncover records and fields that should have been handled differently. For example, you may find duplicates or maybe missing fields. Therefore, prior to migrating to the new system you can stay on top of those problem areas and implement processes and controls to not have bad data coming in, in the first place.

Finally, it is always better to start with a clean high quality data set than to bring problem records from your old system. So how do you go about cleaning data prior to migrating? Here are a few steps that you should take:

  1. Identify Records You Want to Bring Over. This can be all of them, all of them minus bogus records or a smaller subset of only active, complete and recent data.
  2. Identify Fields that you want to migrate. You may choose to bring only certain fields, for example your current CRM may have custom fields that were historically used but no longer needed. You may also have fields that are duplicated that you may want to clean up prior to bringing them over.
  3. Identify and Clean Duplicate Records. Now, is the perfect time to dedupe your records. Starting with a clean unique list is the only way to ensure that the users of your new system will get the full benefit of high data integrity.
  4. Fill in the Blank. If you have missing data, you may want to append any data that is missing. It is also a good idea to validate any data that is important to your organization.
  5. Normalize/Standardize fields. Probably the most critical part of data cleaning prior to migration is the normalization or standardization of fields. The formats of dates or phone numbers, the dropdown fields which should be categories and general formatting of fields should match the new system. For example, Dates can be written as 2017-11-01 in the old system may need to be changed to be written as 11/01/17. Or country codes which were 2 digit ISO such as US or CA will need to be written out such as United States and Canada.

If you are looking to migrate and need data cleansing services, StrategicDB can help! We have helped countless companies migrate their data from one system to the next.

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