6 Common Data Migration Issues (And Tips to Avoid Them)

Jun 20 2022

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Improving the Success of your Data Migration Project

It is not difficult to see the benefits of data migration. With a global market projected to reach $81.5 billion by 2030 according to Emergen Research, the demand for data migration is rising exponentially. Modern businesses are leveraging it to accelerate their journey to improve the customer experience while reducing unnecessary costs. Business leaders are supporting their companies through ongoing data migration that impacts all facets of the organization.

Effective data migration means organizations must possess the ability to keep an eye on the common mistakes that can hinder continuous development and integration. At Icreon, we have helped clients from several industries implement all types of data migrations. Over the years, we have improved our approach and the entire process. Through these meaningful experiences, we have recognized six common data migration challenges and issues that can disrupt a data migration journey and the ways to avoid them.

Avoid These Common Data Migration Issues to Have a Smoother Journey 

Here are the 6 data migration mistakes to steer clear of during data migration –

Mistake #1: Hasty planning 

Did you know that 74% of data migration projects fail due to lack of resources, and team readiness?- IHS Markit 

First & foremost, it is crucial to have a plan with the stakeholders who are aware of the data migration service and have solid knowledge. This will ensure you're in a better role to assess and make necessary changes. To implement a successful data migration, you must know everything you have in your current data center, such as how many virtual or physical workloads there are, local or shared storage, etc.

Did  you know that 74% of data migration projects fail due to lack of resources, and team readiness?- IHS Markit 

When starting with any data migration service, it is crucial to define and plan what is achievable to avoid common data migration issues. This ensures that the scope is decided and that a proper timeline, budget, and resource plan can be set. A data migration project can be quite complicated, so the aim is to have a solid plan to filter out any discrepancies.

Mistake #2: Not Having a Clue How the System Works

Data migration services often need to have a diverse set of people using multiple technologies and tools. However, the usage of such a divergent system can result in data transfer failure in the entire process if those individuals lack the appropriate expertise to ensure a successful data migration. Therefore, companies need to choose a professional data migration service company that connects all the critical inputs and outputs, and has complete expertise with migration pitfalls and must to-dos to reduce migration failures and errors.

Planning is the key to prevent issues like this. You must have a long-term plan ready to prepare your employees and stakeholders if needed. In addition to creating the system, all employees in the organization must be adequately trained before shutting down the legacy system.

Mistake #3: Not Properly Sourcing and Cleansing the Data

It's easy to be complacent and think all your data is ready to be configured for the data migration process. But many specifics are frequently ignored, and exceptional attention to details is required to keep it intact. A gap occurs when you're unaware of situations like duplicity, incorrect data or spellings, and incomplete data. Make sure you define what source data you will be transferring and then evaluate it carefully. There could be errors in the data such as repetitions, duplicates, outdated figures, and this can create common data migration risks & issues. Hence, it is good to cleanse the source data by conducting a data cleansing audit before the migration process and so you can recognize any ways to transition the data into new categories.

Mistake #4: Not Beginning the Migration Early Enough

Currently, several organizations are streamlining cloud usage to make it more cost-efficient and productive. However, moving from one platform to another is not enough to give it a few days to migrate the data before the old account is closed. Hence, it is ideal to have extra time to complete the transitioning of data seamlessly.

In case you face any road blocker and your data isn't backed up elsewhere, you could end up turning the old account back on for a more thorough transfer at an extra expense. Therefore, it is always worth paying for an additional month to ensure you have enough time to transition the data before the old system is shut down.

Mistake #5: Not Fully Backing Up Your Data

While moving from one platform to another, there might be migration problems arising, which means you could lose a chunk of your data or get corrupted. In this case, having a backup plan is necessary to retrieve information that can get lost permanently. Ensure all of your data is backed up before the beginning of the migration. Leave the original data source untouched. Why? Because if you face any issue during the migration or did not receive the expected results, you will be able to figure it out by restoring the data from the original server.

Mistake #6: No Production and Performance Baselines

In the majority of data migration cases, organizations do not define the performance baselines thus are unable to realize their true goals and their need for data migration. It is obvious that if you are not aware of how much time a query was taking before the data migration, then you’ll have no idea of how fast the query should be processed after the cloud migration. Not performing such audits creates hindrance in knowing how much productivity and performance have increased after the migration process. Hence, it is clear that without any performance baselines, you’ll not have much idea of whether you’re accomplishing your objectives or not.

Before moving data to the cloud, conduct a performance audit to know the real time a query takes before data migration so you can compare the processing times for the same query before and after data migration to measure your success rate. 

The Secret Sauce to Successful Data Migration

Here are crucial elements your data migration strategy should encompass:

  • Define the scope of the service or project clearly & precisely
  • Ensure to refine the scope of the service or project via auditing and targeted profiling
  • Profile and audit all the source data before starting with writing mapping requirements
  • Reduce the quantity of data that needs to be migrated
  • Describe the project budget and timeframe realistically while keeping the knowledge of data issues in mind
  • Receive sign-off on each phase from senior leadership and business representative as wel
  • Focus on doing the volume-testing for all data in the beginning to avoid any negligence
  • Have plenty of time for volume testing and issue resolution
  • Classify the project with a top-down, target-driven approach
  • Divide the project or service into manageable chunks
  • Make sure to have a total focus on the business objectives and cost-effectiveness throughout the service

It’s the Time to Make the Right Move

Data migration has been a hot topic for quite some time. Yet, the awareness about common data migration risks & issues has been missing, and in many instances, has led to a bad experience. Planning your approach with the right partner would ensure lasting success for your business. The right cloud migration partner will offer skills and competencies to support your business based on vertical and industry expertise.

Learn more about data engineering and migrations and how Icreon can help you? Explore Icreon’s data engineering services.