Many of today’s businesses cannot do away with big data. Even established corporations understand the need to abandon their old systems and shift to newer systems to be able to process information. If not, they stand to lose to their competition.
As such, companies on the path toward growing their business need to have seamless data migration strategies using reliable tools to stay on top of operations while implementing changes. But enterprises need to stick to a budget and avoid drowning in so-called “data lakes” or repositories of large volumes of raw data in various formats through effective data migration. But what is data migration, exactly?
What Is Data Migration?
Data migration is the process of moving information from one storage system to another. It may seem simple and straightforward, but there are steps in-between that companies must consider and follow.
Data migration involves choosing, preparing, extracting, converting, and transferring information. Additionally, the data must undergo validation to ensure that when it is moved, it remains complete. Outdated data storage devices should also be decommissioned.
The reasons for data migration vary per organization. But it is mostly done to overhaul entire networks, replace servers, carry out disaster recovery, consolidate websites, and relocate data warehouses.
Why Is an Effective Data Migration Strategy Important?
Depending on the primary reason for transferring information, data migration is vital to ensure the preservation or improvement of a system’s performance and competitiveness. However, it must be done correctly to work.
Failing to migrate data successfully can cause inaccuracies that may result in redundant and unknown information. In some instances, the source data may be adequate but entirely unusable because it is riddled with issues not detected by the legacy or outdated system it was stored in before.
Below-average data migration strategies can cause companies to spend more, miss deadlines, or fail in their data migration efforts. As such, they must stick to a data migration plan that effectively factors in the following:
- Data audit: Before starting the migration process, the source data must undergo a full audit to ensure that no unexpected issues, such as data inaccuracies and inconsistencies, will surface during the actual migration.
- Data cleanup: All issues identified during the audit must be addressed. In some cases, using additional software or third-party tools may be necessary. This means all corrupted and inaccurate data must be removed or deleted as necessary.
- Data maintenance and protection: In general, data gets degraded after a given time, and using it will only result in unreliable information. As such, controls must be put in place to maintain the integrity and quality of data.
- Data governance: Another way to ensure data integrity is to track and create detailed reports regarding information quality. This process helps companies automate data migration.
More than following a structured data migration process, however, using the right data migration tools is also necessary.
What Are the Best Practices When Using Data Migration Tools?
If you plan to use data migration tools, here are some of the best practices to keep in mind.
Explore the Source Data
Know and understand your source data and see how it fits into the new system. Companies must identify their purpose for migration and which information remains relevant moving forward. Mapping what needs to be migrated, what can be left behind, and what factors can affect the move must be made.
Back Up Data
Before using a data migration tool, the source data should be backed up. That way, companies do not lose critical information even if they encounter hiccups along the way. They need to ensure, though, to test the backup devices before going through with the process.
Use a Reliable Data Migration Tool
Data migration is a complicated process, and sticking to a reliable tool can help relieve frustrations when things get out of hand. Devices that allow companies to automate the process would enable them to stick to their strategies and hasten the move. Data migration tools should support the old and current systems and software alike. It also helps if the tools provide robust security, particularly for sensitive data.
Conduct Live Testing
Testing should always be part of any data migration strategy and should occur from the planning to the design phase and continue to the data migration implementation and maintenance. Tests should use real data to vet its accuracy and completeness.
Never forget to audit data to ensure that the migration is complete and accurate.
Following data migration strategies help companies maintain their competitiveness amid an ever-changing market. It can help enhance their scalability and improve their time to market without investing in very technical systems.