Data preparation when you are migrating your data to a new system, is one of the most critical phases in your system migration project. The first step prior to any data manipulation, de-duping and standardization can happen is to back-up your original data that way you are not risking any data loss.

Step 1: Understanding data formats between systems. Data mapping is critical step where you will be matching the data between your original system and the new system. Things to pay attention to include: date formats, field format (text, integer, currency, etc…) and verify that you still need all the fields that you had in your original system.

Step 2: Converting Data: For fields where data does not match, you may need to transfer date fields from YYYYMMDD to DD/MM/YY formats. To convert data you can use automatic data transformation tools/packages found in most systems.

Step 3: Data Profiling: Most companies, when migrating only want to bring partial information over. For example, they may exclude all test accounts/contacts, any record that has not been touched in the last 5 years, and so on… Bringing only a part of your data over can not only save on storage, but also get ride of any unwanted data that is making your CRM unusable in the first place.

Step 4: Data De-duping: Once you have decided what data you want to keep, it is time to de-dupe your data. Keep in mind some data you may need to be duplicated due to accounting, legal or business reasons. You can use automated de-duping tools.

Step 5: Data Standardization: Some of your data may need to be standardized as it is currently not in usable form. For example, “NY” and “New York” should be just “New York”, Industry fields such as “Software”, “Programming Firm.”, “Software Company”, “Software Firm” can all be classified as “Software Company”. The most common list of fields to standardize include: Title, Industry, State/Country and custom fields.

Step 6: Data Cleansing: Once data is de-duped, standardized and you are list is ready to go it is time to data cleanse. This includes: validating of emails, phones and addresses and appending any missing information.

Step 7: Final Audit: Now that data is ready, your final step is to do a small data upload to make sure that you do not have an errors, double check that data is in the right format, has all the required fields and so on.

If you are preparing your data for migration, contact StrategicDB for any data cleansing and data preparation steps.