Data Migration and History Loading: Streamline a Challenging Process

Velosio can assist in developing a data load strategy while streamlining the efforts to get the job done correctly, on-time and on-budget.

Table of Content

    This is the sixth post of a series discussing how Velosio can assist your company in completing a successful ERP implementation. If you want to review the other posts in the series or learn more about Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) implementation and how Velosio can help, look at:

    Make Velosio Your ERP Migration and Implementation Partner

    Managing the Pre-Sale Process: Ensure Your Requirements Are Clearly Defined

    Getting Started: Preparing For an ERP Implementation

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    Requirements Gathering: Determining What You Need

    Fit-Gap Analysis

    Data migration and history loading is the process of gathering data from your current systems, then editing, re-structuring and correcting the data as required. Once the data has been re-structured, edited, and quality tested, it needs to be formatted allowing the data to be input or imported into the new ERP.

    For example, a lot of new ERP implementations come about due to financial reporting issues. Often, financial reporting difficulties can be traced to an inadequate Chart of Accounts (COA). To correct COA issues, the implementation team needs to build the new COA structure, map the current system COA to the new ERP structure and then correctly load the new COA data into any ERP records that are COA reliant (e.g., General Ledger, Accounts Payable).

    As you easily see, data migration and history loading can be a complicated process which takes a lot of time and effort to be done correctly.

    Choosing an implementation partner such as Velosio is a critical part of a successful data migration and history load process. Our ERP implementation experience combined with a superior knowledge of the ERPs we support allows us to quickly understand your data loading needs.

    We can assist your company in developing a data load strategy which meets your expectations while streamlining the efforts to get the job done correctly, on-time and on-budget.

    When needed, we have the knowledge, insights and tools to keep the data load process under control.  We can provide your project managers with best practices to help prevent them from developing a set of data migration and history load goals that would exceed the ability your project team to complete. Falling into this trap is quite common, and if not mitigated, is one of the biggest causes of implementation delays and overspending.

    The first data migration and history task is to determine the scope of the data to load into the new system. Depending on the amount of data to be loaded, there are different ways to complete the process. In addition to data migration and import, there may also be a need to convert and re-format current system information (GL accounts, vendor codes etc.) into the formats required by the new ERP.

    This can be a large undertaking and should be considered in the in the data loading volume decision. View the chart below to gain an understanding of the data migration process.

    data migration process

    ERP implementations are controlled using a specific methodology. Many software publishers provide some type of implementation methodology for use by their re-sellers. A sample implementation methodology appears below. The example consists of five phases. Data migration and history loading is part of the “Configure and Data Load” phase.

    Note how data migration is addressed after the ERP configuration is completed.

    ERP data migration

    Best Practices

    Visible Executive Ownership

    Visible executive ownership is the number one success driver across all ERP implementation phases.

    Employees look to company executives for both direction and a sense of the importance connected to company initiatives. If the Executive team doesn’t take the project seriously, chances are that the project team won’t either.

    To learn more about executive ownership, look at:: Preparing for ERP Implementation: Getting Started on the Right Foot.

    Executive ownership is not only about supporting the project. It’s also critical that the executive team coordinates with the project team in building implementation goals and objectives that align with company needs. They also need to take a realistic view of what can reasonably be completed with the resources available.

    For example, a company may wish to load a large volume of historic data. I’ve seen companies planning to load five plus years of historic data. These expectations result from not completely understanding the process.

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    Data volume can easily climb to thousands of records quickly. Historic data loading can be very time-consuming and will overwhelm your staff if not planned with a keen eye towards the project team’s capabilities. Unless you want to spend a lot of money having the implementation partner or outside help assist in this process, keep it as simple as possible.

    In my view the executive team plays a significant role in controlling these expectations.

    Design a Streamlined and Effective Master RecordStructure

    Identify the data to be migrated to the new ERP and clearly document any data re-formatting required such as the chart of accounts, customer, vendor and inventory item records (i.e., master records).

    Build a set of revised pro-forma COA structures and review them with the users of COA dependent departments such as accounting and financial reporting. This process is especially important in financial reporting, so take time to ensure that the new structure will be able to support your company’s short- and long-term reporting needs.

    In terms of other master records (e.g., customer, vendor and inventory item), the managers of the respective departments should review the applicable ERP functionality and be sure they understand all the new master record features and the associated functionality. It’s very possible that the new ERP will have many new features and functions which will have an impact on how the master records can be re-formatted.

    Velosio project managers and implementation consultants are very experienced in building organized and effective master record structures. We understand how to build a COA that functions seamlessly with the ERP financial report writers, helping your company realize a high level of return on your reporting tool investment. Use our expertise to take full advantage of ERP features and functionality related to other master records as well. We can work with you to build effective and streamlined master record structures based on your company’s unique needs.

    Build a Reasonable Sata and History Load Plan and Gain Plan Approval

    Designing an effective master record structure is an important part of a well-built data migration and history load plan. The overall plan’s success, however, is based not only on quality master record structures, it’s also dependent on a reasonable data and history loading plan.

    Data migration and history load requirements start with the best of intentions. However, when the project team takes a closer look at the tasks to be completed, many issues present themselves.

    All data comes from either current system(s), databases, or user-maintained documents (spreadsheets). Looking at these sources and quantifying their ability to easily and accurately provide the required data is an important first step. If the system can’t easily download the information into a file or database, or if the download information’s quality is suspect, a decision needs to be made whether to include the data in the new ERP.

    Regardless of the data source, downloading or loading method, the most crucial decision is to be sure you stay within your company’s ability to convert the data effectively, set realistic volume expectations and load only data that’s truly needed.

    Remember, any data loaded into the new ERP must be manually entered or downloaded into a file, scrubbed, converted and formatted properly for loading. After the loading process, the data needs to be reconciled, corrected as needed and finalized.

    Use Velosio’s expertise to help guide you in the right direction. For example, there are several methods of loading historic master record data into a new ERP. Also, GL Trail balance historic data can be loaded in a scheduled manner after the implementation’s go-live, thereby relieving some pressure on the project team.

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    Our project managers and implementation consultants are very experienced in loading historic data. We also have a current and in-depth understanding of all the new data management tools and techniques available in today’s marketplace. These new features and functionality can provide data loading and viewing options that were not available in the past, and in some cases can allow you to access historic data, without loading it into the new ERP at all. Our expertise and hands-on experience allows us to make suggestions that can be remarkably effective in preventing your company from “biting off more than it can chew”.

    Finally, a data migration and history loading plan should include an accurate cost estimate (direct costs). Don’t forget to add ongoing costs and indirect costs, as they won’t be included in the implementation estimate. Compare the total cost against the expected value to understand the return on your data migration and history loading plan investment.

    So Why Velosio?

    With many years of implementation experience, Velosio can get your software up and running, effectively and efficiently, as quickly as possible. Our application consultants and project managers, who are among the best in their field, are ready to help your business keep its commitments while investing in the latest technological advances.

    Velosio is a team of 450 business professionals, application consultants, developers and industry experts aligned with our clients’ best interests and dedicated to ensuring exceptional outcomes. Our team has worked with clients of all sizes over thousands of projects, allowing us to identify your ERP requirements, proactively spot potential data structure and history loading issues and suggest best practices to support a successful ERP implementation.

    With a considerable number of successful implementations under our belt, you can be confident that we have the tools and experience you are looking for. Reach out to one of our experts today.

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