Data Migration

What You Should Know About Data Migration

By: Dave Rietsema
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After you have unwrapped your brand new ATS solution and started to get into the thick of implementation, you‘ll have to migrate your data from whatever your previous system was into the new system. This is always a necessary step of the implementation process, but may vary in complexity. Solutions to data migration issues may also vary depending on the systems in question.

Vendors May Be Able to Help

In you are switching from one ATS to another, you may be surprised to find that both vendors can help you. While the vendor you are leaving may not be thrilled about it, they may be able to provide assistance in the form of converting your data into formats that are easier to migrate. Your new vendor may also provide support.

Even if you are switching from spreadsheets or manual systems to an ATS, your new vendor may be able to provide you with tools and suggestions that will make your data migration easier. For best results, ask about data migration before even settling on a system so you know what to expect.

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Simple Structural Differences May Cause Headaches

Simple structural differences in the way that your information is stored – such as last name first as opposed to first name first – can cause headaches. If you have to manually convert every name or other pieces of common and critical information, it can set your project back.

As soon as you come up against challenges with informational structure, talk to your vendor about it. Some solutions offer mapping tools that can help to easily convert information, so that you don’t have to spend hours on these types of mundane tasks. Also make sure that all of the information that you normally collect has a home in the new system and use customization options if needed to make everything fit.

There May Be both Manual and Automated Elements of Migration

It can be dangerous to assume that all data migration efforts will be taken care of using automated means. Even if a majority of your information can be easily transferred into the system automatically, you may have to do touch-up work by hand to fix errors and set everything up exactly how you want it. Be sure to check everything over carefully before go-live to make sure that your data migration was truly successful.

Not All Data Needs to Be Migrated

Fortunately, not all data always needs to be migrated when you switch over to a new ATS. Certain pieces of data may actually be handled by outside vendors that can keep right on handling those elements, as long as you integrate the new system in the same way that the old one was integrated. Of course, if you wish to ditch the third party and use your new solution for everything, you will have to consider migrating data from that source, as well.

Migrating data is an important part of the ATS implementation process, so make sure that you understand what it will entail before jumping into it. It may be best to ask questions about data migration when interviewing vendors during the selection phase.

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