Every business goes through the data migration process at some or other point due to multiple reasons. The main idea behind data migration is a change in the storage space; it can be shifting from one server to another, or from one database to another, or moving data from one operating system to another. The businesses follow the basic process that includes 3 basic steps, (ETL) Extract/Transform/Load, irrespective of the data migration system. The last 2 steps are followed during all migration processes. Therefore it is clear that the pulled data goes through many preparation processes, only after which it can be loaded to the target location.
The reasons might differ from an overhaul of the overall system, update of the current database, combination of new data from a newly obtained source, or expansion of the current one. No matter the purpose, a proper migration strategy is vital for successful data migration.
Data Migration Strategies Are Essential
Irrespective of the particular agendas, data migration, is performed to boost performance & competitiveness. But it is a risky & cost-under-going process. If not appropriately carried, it will cost time & money to the business. The absence of proper planning can add to more issues than resolving them, resulting in overabundance; the data migration process might fail altogether. Thus, adequate migration techniques are essential.
Some essential factors to strategize a successful data migration plan are as follow:
Know Your Data: For effective migration, there should be a complete data audit at the source; this will help avoid migration issues.
Absolute Data Clean-up: Since a migration process needs time & money, it is always recommendable to clean up the basic and redundant data to make it more concise & manageable.
Data Security & Conservation: While data transfer ensures the transferred data is passed through controlled, reliable measures, as data tends to corrupt as time passes.
Data Quality Check: There must be proper supervision & data tracking to understand data integrity better.
The Right Migration Tools: It is essential to understand selecting the right software tools for an effective migration as not all tools are suitable for all migration projects.
The above points are essential for stepwise data migration planning. But strategies are critical for a seamless, error-free, and productive migration.
Data Migration Strategies
Though every business is unique, and a one-size-fits-all approach won't be viable for all migration needs, migration techniques can still be segmented into 2 broad categories.
The 'Big Bang' Migration: It is considered as the fastest migration mode strategy where the whole build of data is migrated over a restricted window period. This technique has its pros & cons. The process may be a 1-time transfer, but the risk factors are higher, post-migration problems are more intense.
The 'Tickle' Migration: This technique is more famous and time-taking. Here the transfer is done in phases, where the source & the host systems run simultaneously; it produces less downtime as there is constant migration performed in phases.
Data Migration Best Practices
Some of the best practices, when followed, can give an expected result of an effective migration.
Data Backup: It is always recommended to get a data backup as during migration, if there is any data loss or corruption, there is always stored data to backup.
Follow The Technique: It is typically noticed that either there is an inclination to abandon a plan when it doesn't work well or if it is too seamless, as both are not recommended. Data migration can be time-taking & frustrating sometimes; therefore, if a plan is made & agreed upon, it should be followed seriously.
Constant Testing: It is the main ingredient for an effective migration, so tests must be performed through the planning, execution, designing, and maintenance phases for an error-free transfer with desired outcomes.
Recognize The Development Scope Through Migration: Migration is a process to enhance the current data. It is a scope to discover useful content & improve upon it, and move the content from the source to the host system. Hence, the purpose of the process should be to update the content's improvable areas.
Clear Communication & Coordination Within Teams: Data transfer includes the IT teams; it impacts the entire business and its goals. Therefore, it is essential to involve the business perspectives & allow all the teams to be involved from the idea, process, technique implementation to the desired result of the migration.
Implement A Risk Management Strategy: Risk management must be thought of while performing your data migration process. Several issues could potentially occur. Compiling them and coming up with ways to either solve them from happening will make the process effective. Consider the depreciated data values, user testing, security, app dependencies, etc.
Using The Right Tools: Using proper tools during data transfer will fasten the process and make it more efficient. You can use the tools for data discovery, quality validation, profiling, and testing.
Agile Mindset: Agile mindset during data migration will help you preserve high data quality due to frequent testing, identify & remove errors as they occur, and overall make the development process more straightforward. It will make the costs & schedule more predictable since it needs a clear division of tasks & responsibilities and following deadlines.
Data migration is a crucial part of development & growth for any business that helps in the business process's growth. However, in the absence of a strategic approach, there can be more damage than benefits. Data is an essential asset for any business to expand; therefore, it must be tackled carefully.
To leverage the fruits of this process, there must be proper planning and some techniques that must be complied with for a risk-free migration that will be cost-effective & less clumsy. It is an excellent way to upgrade, build, and gain more ROI, as well.