Data migration can be a massive undertaking for any organisation. Whether you are modernising your systems, moving data to the cloud, or acquiring a new business, migrating your data successfully is critical for your business going forward. If you miss a beat, you could experience significant delays in bringing your new capabilities online, costing extra time, effort, and money. Worse still, poorly executed migrations can result in a lack of trust in your data and impact decision-making across your company.
Data errors make migrations difficult
The reason data migration becomes a big undertaking is because it can be difficult to find anomalies across various and large data sets and knowing the best approach to fixing the errors. In fact, our research shows that error rates as high as 30% are quite common.
These issues can range from incomplete records, poorly entered data, data and record duplication, outdated information, test data, and much more. It’s common for administrators to address any errors manually but this can still leave a huge gap in understanding which issues are most prevalent and impactful, never mind the time and resources it takes to sift through records.
Take these examples, for instance.
- Non-unique descriptors as account identifiers can lead to unclear and confusing records.
- Data entered into incorrect fields
- Data that is concatenated or entered incorrectly into a single field (say, no spaces in between first and last names).
- Datasets describing information differently (one source could say ‘client name’ while the other source says ‘account ID’).
Even if there aren’t anomalies or inconsistencies in one system, it doesn’t mean there aren’t some in another. It also doesn’t mean that those sources describe data in the same way.
Inconsistent formatting and incorrect data can put you back to square one.
Despite the complexity of your migration and your approach, you want to understand the format and validity of your data across the new and old systems. This is critical to the success of your migration and could take shape in a variety of ways. For example:
- Formatting could be consistent across your data sources, but that doesn’t mean the data is right
- An address could be right, but have no spaces, making the formatting incorrect and the address invalid
- Date of birth could be out of range, or a phone number could be all zeros
If you don’t understand what your data looks like before you move the records to another source, you could be left wondering what formats are being used, how you want to standardise the information and if the information is valid. Here, you aren’t just wasting time and resources, but it risks flooding the new storage with bad data, resulting in a lack of return and unusable information.
Data profiling is a perfect solution for these potential challenges —keep reading to understand how it helps.
Data profiling pays dividends
Data migrations require precise planning, forecasting, and resourcing to plot out milestones and risks. Data profiling enables you to do just that—with this tool, you can scope out challenges before they arise and address them proactively and properly.
This will make everyone’s jobs easier, including your business users who are key players in this overall project. Think about it, your technical users can tell you about formatting and character issues, but the business users are the ones who use the data every day and can tell you about the relationships between the fields (say, product and segment matches or product and age relationships).
Pair this collaboration with data profiling and you are setting up your migration for success—and have clear next steps like standardisation, deduplication, and validation.
As you make progress on your migration, keep in mind the importance of quality control. This will be a game changer.
Remember: Your new system will only be as good as the accuracy of the information it holds.
How to find the perfect solution
To reap the full benefits of a data migration, the secret is the right technology. Complete with data profiling, monitoring, and validation, Experian’s data quality platform is intelligent and user-friendly, and can be fit to set your migration up for success.