SUCCESSFUL ERP DATA MIGRATION

The chances your business is drowning in pool of data is extremely likely. With business information, employee details, client invoices, supplier and vendor documents, customer relationship data, and much more – the list seems to go on and on. Considering the enormous volume of data following through your business, timely and efficient migration must be one of you highest priorities when implementing an enterprise resource planning (ERP) software.

Data is the key to maximizing the success of your new ERP system. If Inaccurate and inconsistent data is fed into an ERP system, you will have an inadequate indicator of how your business is performing. If you don’t efficiently manage data before implementing your ERP system, it could not only result in a failed implementation, but can also take your entire business down.

Let’s look at the data migration process in an ERP implementation, the associated challenges, the risks of a poor data migration strategy, and some best practices for ERP data migration to ensure efficiency, adherence to budget, and a smooth go-live.

 

Challenges:

Data migration is much more than copying and pasting data from one source to another, you need to validate data prior to implementation. If you’ve had your own processes of importing data in your legacy system, or if the processes have varied across departments, your data is probably dirty. Here are the most common challenges with data migration:

  1. Ensuring integrity of data. Many businesses aren’t spending enough time studying their data to truly understand it. Thus, leading to the risk of large volumes of inaccurate data and creating false conclusions.
  2. Lack of knowledge of working with data. Limited knowledge of how the source systems and how the target systems work can create large problems within your data migration.
  3. System and role-related challenges. Additional challenges include insufficient access to targeted systems, and inaccurate input for various departments.

 

Risks of Poor Data Migration

You’ve spent a great deal of recourses simply planning your ERP implementation roadmap, but it doesn’t stop there. There are additional fine details you need to take into consideration for a successful implementation. The most important fine detail is understanding the importance and complexity of data migration.

Here are the risks associated with not paying attention to the fine details of data migration:

  • Working with inaccurate, incomplete, and false data.
  • Insufficient performance of the new system which will not deliver anticipated results.
  • Additional time and resources spent on corrective actions to cleanse data.
  • The potential cost of missing out on deadlines if data cleansing and migration exceeds the allocated time.
  • Unsatisfactory end-user experiences and a decline of confidence in the management team.
  • Lack of communication across stakeholders which further intensifies the faulty data migration strategy.
  • Inability to use the ERP system to its full ability.

 

The Best Data Migration Practices

1.) Plan for the Data. The first step in a successful ERP data migration is building a plan which matches your business model and reflects upon the goals of your overall ERP implementation.

This will help business analysts involved in the process to better analyze data and develop meaningful reports, analysis, and content out of the data. This can be used to uncover relevant insights, streamline operations, and reduce risk—ultimately leading to faster, better decision-making, and enhanced outcomes.

2.) Develop a Migration Strategy with your Partner. Although your ERP implementation partner will play a big role in the data migration process, your business will need to be equally involved. Your partner will help you outline a plan and communicate with end-users to assign roles, delegate responsibilities, and enable decision-makers.

3.) Study New Fields. It’s important for end-users to completely understand the fields in your new ERP system. End-users need to understand how field are populated and how your new system uses those fields. Additionally, they should think about what they want to manage and how best to measure their activities. If there are any missing fields, where can they get the data to complete these measurements? Can the missing data be kept in user-defined fields in the ERP? Is this data a new measure?

4.) Evaluate Data and Find the Gaps. It is also equally important to evaluate the complexity of the data, categorize it into master data, open transactions, and historical data, and assess the available resources for migration. This helps in knowing what to discard, what to archive, and what to carry forward.

Once you’ve created a list of the required data for your new ERP system, it’s essential to review the list of available data and note the data gaps. Include the details of how you will fill these gaps in your data management plan.

5.) Stick to Data Standards. It’s more than likely that each department within your organization has developed their own way of importing data in legacy systems. Create a single data standard and stick to it; your migration design should support consistency, and some manner of standardization for all data. Defining data migration standards will take collaboration between end-users, managers, and executive management to the next level.

6.) Test your Data and Processes. The testing phase should be completed as soon as possible to avoid subsequent problems. The most common tests include unit, system, volume, batch application, and more. Data will be coming from a variety of sources and the testing phase will help avoid repetitive data issues.

  • Is the information accurate?
  • Are processes effective in capturing results?
  • Do you have reports and dashboards designed to show the measurements needed to manage all parts of the business?

7.) Backup & Security. Data backup and security is extremely important in protection of your new ERP solution. Ensure that any data from external sources such as customer portals is checked before it enters the new system. Additionally, you will want to look at other external sources for future problems such as wireless connections.

 

Data Migration for ERP Success

Data migration is probably the most important step in your ERP implementation roadmap. However, many businesses are unprepared for this process thus, they end up making many critical mistakes.   Regular communication and coordination between end-users are extremely important for successful data migration. Coordinate your plan with your ERP partner: plan for the data, develop a migration strategy, stick to data standards, and execute a thorough testing phase.

The ACC Software Solutions team is here to walk you through every step of your ERP roadmap. Contact one of our support specialists to begin your ERP journey to a more successful business!


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