Example Consulting

Data Migration 

Data Migration, (DM),  is probably one of the more difficult jobs which we undertake.
The issues we have come across include a data in the old system is not fit for purpose, a lack of enthusiasm to correct errant data, and insufficient staff to work on the project.
All of these can be overcome, and if you are reading this, you are probably aware of the issues.

The most popular reason for moving old data from one application to another is to maintain data continuity.
The reason for changing the host application can be as simple as a new version replacing the old, or as significant as a complete change in working practises brought about by a completely different application altogether.
While it is certainly possible to start using a new application from scratch and begin entering new data, the problem is that there are then two applications to work from and this can cause the usres considerable confusion. Historic data may influence the situation.

The process of DM is not necessarily a particularly difficult one, but it does require attention to detail.

Tasks we undertake include;
Data Identification - it is possible that not all data is required. In the case of Adult Social Care for example, where no contact has been made by a person in the last 3 years, is that data really necessary? This is a business decision and significant data cleansing can be achieved by migrating only pertinent data as opposed to "everything".
Data Mapping - identifying where the data originates from and to where it will be located in the new system. This is usually undertaken through detailed specification,
Data Cleansing - identifying data in the old system which does not comply with the rules in the new system and cleansing that data. Duplicate data falls into this category,
Data Manipulation - identifying data groups and similarities which are required in the new system - and changing them. A simple example is where the old system stores a telephone number as a text field, the new system holds this as a numeric,
Decommissioning - providing access to old data in a Read Only manner. This is particularly useful where historic data might be lost in the DM,
Data Extract and Load - usually incrementally so that data assurance and compliance can be tested,
Test Planning - the planning and execution will ideally be carried out to a detailed specification.

This is an example of a screen with Read Only capability which can be used to access redundant or decommissioned data.

The features in this working example are described under Additional Information on the right.