Despite the system that was previously in place, the data a company has accumulated prior to implementing an enterprise resource planning suite of applications has substantial value. The transfer of data is important because the more information that’s on hand to be fed into a program, the more accurate projections and figures will be going forward. However, many companies do not understand this important principle.
Consequently, data migration is often overlooked as an essential step for commercial software adoption. The thinking is that businesses will be starting with a clean slate and won’t have any use for records and numbers that can seem primitive, old-fashioned and corrupted through their generation in an archaic system. However, migrating data to a new ERP system is very important for starting a new era of information usage correctly. Consider the following tips for “cleaning” the data that will be transferred to make sure a data migration is conducted properly.
Identify pertinent information
While it’s helpful to transfer as much data to new infrastructures as possible, there are necessarily going to be some pieces of information that don’t have a place in updated ERP systems. For instance, some markers or figures might be only of value to legacy systems. Additionally, the adoption of enterprise resource planning might presage a change in operations or business plans, so there wouldn’t be any need for businesses to make them available in the modernized technology subsequently being used.
Even if companies understand how important data migration is, they might fail to prioritize the transfer of information from one system to another. This is understandable, as there are many factors and variables to consider when managing an ERP implementation. Nevertheless, make sure data has been appropriately cleaned and prepared for migration well before a new system goes live so it has plenty of figures and factors to work with.
The architecture of a legacy system is understandably going to be different from that of an updated enterprise resource planning suite of applications, so some conversion or translation might need to be performed. For instance, unit measurements might have been expanded to allow for greater levels of detail. What’s more, the growth of a company might have led to much larger measurements being incorporated for easier calculation.
Even if data isn’t all instantly migrated to an ERP system shortly after implementation, it should still be kept on hand for future reference. It might not be as useful for making projections and adjusting operations immediately, but it can be used for handy reference to historical performance metrics or recurring problems that rear their heads once more.