Data migration is a challenging task. One minor glitch can cause significant damage to the data. Therefore, data migration requires professional expertise which should be backed by in-depth knowledge, sufficient time, and other resources to make sure that the process is smooth, secure, and successful.
Data exists in various forms and formats. It can be a CVS file, XML file, HTML file, SQL database, and so on. The variety of data makes the migration part tricky and complicated. Therefore, it must be handled by professionals only because they know how to handle the migration of different data types. To ensure that data is converted into a compatible format before migration, professionals carry out data migration testing before they move data across systems.
In this blog, we have discussed 5 major challenges of data migration, and how to handle them for effective and efficient data migration.
1. Identification of all data sources and data types
Before data migration is carried out, it is important to have a clear and complete picture of the data;
- What needs to be moved?
- What is the source of the data?
- What is the format of the data?
- What are the data problems?
- Are there any missing fields, duplicates, misspellings, and other errors?
And so on.
Answers to all these questions will help data migration experts draw an effective and thorough migration plan.
While devising a plan, the data migration team must have a futuristic approach to be more adaptive because data migration is not a one-time activity. Instead, it is a process that can go on over some time throughout the life of process life. Therefore, the migration team must have a clear understanding of the data sources. They must be aware of the type, formats and other attributes of data to be migrated.
2. Incompatible Data
While moving data across the systems, compatibility issues can arise. The data format on one system cannot be read by the destination system. At times, if the source system is more advanced than the destination system, there can be compatibility issues. Another reason for compatibility issues is when the involved systems have different database structures. Also, a difference in file formats or character encoding in the systems can lead to compatibility issues.
To avoid incompatibility, complex data structures must be solved because migrated values can be incompatible with the destination system’s structure.
3. Poor Data Analysis
Computer restrictions can prevent the data migration team from conducting complete and in-depth data analysis. Since all data elements do not reside in one field, some information can remain hidden. As the users do not know the purpose of the available fields, they do not know how to handle this field during migration. Mishandling can result in the migration of inaccurate, obsolete, or incomplete data.
The problems because of this mishandling can arise at a later time when it becomes very difficult to correct such errors. Identification of such fields and proper data analysis will prevent issues down the lane.
4. Requires Too Much Time
Data migration is a lengthy process. The time required for migrating data can further depends on the size of data, the complexity of data sources, the speed of the network, the quality of data, and the number of destination systems.
5. Poor communication and unclear instructions
For successful and complete migration of the data, you must communicate clearly with your migration team. Tell them your instructions so that they can devise a plan, and map data migration accordingly. If you fail to tell your instructions clearly, there can be misunderstandings. For successful and quick data migration, you must list all your requirements, apprehensions, and concerns. It should lay out the time you have for data migration, the data which is to be transferred, and its mapping. In the absence of clear instructions documented the whole process can become difficult and confusing. Clear instructions ensure that data migration takes place without any glitches and misunderstandings.
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How to avoid these problems?
These measures can help you avoid data migration.
1. Plan Clearly
To avoid any conflicts or misunderstandings, it is important to devise a migration plan. This includes taking into account the data which needs to be migrated, the instructions according to which the migration has to be carried out, the possible risks and threats, the time required for the completion of the process, and a backup plan. Based on this information, chalk out a plan which should help you avoid any fallouts down the lane.
2. Data Migration testing
Testing is an important phase in successful data migration. Before you carry out the process of a significant amount of data migration, make sure the process you are using ensures success. Therefore, test on a small amount of data, if it works out well then you can start the process and avoid resources from going to waste.
While your team has adopted the best possible route and plan for data migration, certain things can fall out at the last moment. To be safe from any kind of loss, we suggest taking a data backup because anything can happen at any time. No technical glitch should corrupt the data or interrupt the process of data migration.
For successful and effective data migration testing or other software testing solutions, get in touch with GenRocket.