Data cleansing is a necessary step in your data migration plan. There are a few reasons why cleaning your data is important to your business:

  1. Outdated data – regardless of the type of data you have, all data at some point becomes outdated. You may wish to exclude it from migration as to not clutter your new tool.
  2. Duplicates – regardless of your data governance, duplicates tend to still find their way into your system. If you have not de-duped in a while, it is the perfect time to make sure only unique records remain.
  3. Bogus Records – if you search for “test” records in your instance, you will find many records that were created by your administrators and other members of your team. Plus, if you have records coming in from the website form submits or third party data providers you will no doubt have bogus records.
  4. Incomplete data – another common data issue is that there are records that are missing critical information. For example, a sales team may not be able to contact the person in your record if there are no contact information. During the migration, you have three choices either acquire the required data using third party data providers if that data is available, flagging the record for incomplete data to have someone try to fill that data manually or simply excluding that record from migration.

The bottom line is that having the same data that you had previous without data cleansing does not improve your team’s efficiency, reporting capabilities and other benefits that data cleansing can bring. So what are the steps in data cleansing?

Steps in Data Cleansing prior to Migration:

  1. Excluding Data – Step one is establishing which records will be moving forward. This can be based on many different business rules such as data created and last activity date, having complete information, not being a bogus or test records and so on.
  2. De-duping – Second step is de-duping the subset of data that will be migrating to make sure that only one unique record is moving forward.
  3. Appending Missing Information – Finally for records that are unique and match your rules for migration but are missing critical information, it is time to append that data. This can include doing a manual data append using internal resources, purchasing third party data or hiring a data appending company that can help append information manually.

It is important to note, that doing data cleaning the right way can take more than a couple of weeks to do it right and can be costly. Therefore, when adding data cleansing to your migration plan, it is important to account for the time and cost of cleaning your data. If you are looking for a data cleansing company to help clean your data prior to data migration, StrategicDB can help.

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