We all know how much work and effort goes into a Data Migration, so in this blog we share a few tips that should help reduce some common issues when performing this work.

The worst thing that can happen during a data migration is migrating bad or incorrect data into your new system. By taking a few of them items below into consideration, you could prevent this from happening. Of course as with all advice, these may not apply to every situation, but in general, these tips should help mitigate some of the common issues.

1. Combine into as few files as possible

If you have complex and extensive data to migrate, consider making one large file with Tabs as opposed to multiple separate files. By doing this you typically:

Reduce your risk – Every time you upload a file, there is a risk of that upload failing to complete properly. Therefore, the more files you have, the more risk you have. Reducing the file count ultimately reduces your risk.

Make Validation Easier – If you have one larger file, usually validation is faster because you can validate more data without having to change or open other files.

Sequencing – With one file you can organize it in the order of uploads instead of trying to organize many separate files and ensure they are done correctly.

2. Excel is not always your Friend

Check your cell format -When migrating data using excel, sometimes Excel “helps” you by changing that data. An example is if you had a size of 5/6, Excel may change this to a date or a numeric value. Both changes corrupt your data, so ensure you validate your cell format and data in the file before you upload.

3. Validate the File before upload

Often the extract file is not validated prior to upload.

The assumption is that the data loaded into Excel properly and, therefore, it is ready to be uploaded. As noted above, Excel can corrupt your data so don’t assume it is the same as in the old system.

Ensure a different person validates than the person that extracted and updated the data. Often if the same person is doing both, they miss errors due to looking at the same data the same way. Get “another set of eyes” to ensure it is correct and ready for upload.

Validating the data is correct in the file is usually easier than validating it after upload. If you find issues with your data file, you can fix it before it is uploaded and eliminate the time of performing the upload again. This eliminates the time to fix the data or perform another upload and validation.

4. If you fail, don’t just keep trying.

First, always test your data uploads prior to your final or Production uploads. This may seem obvious, but we have all seen people upload without testing and have issues. The last thing you want is for your final upload to hang or crash and then you must try to figure out how to ensure all the data is there correctly.

Remember, sometimes performing additional data loads only further corrupts your data and introduces more issues by creating supplicate records or affecting other data sets.

Hopefully these tips help you with your next data migration!

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Happy Dynamics 365’ing!

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Joe D365

Joe D365 is a Microsoft Dynamics 365 superhero who runs on pure Dynamics adrenaline. As the face of PowerObjects, Joe D365’s mission is to reveal innovative ways to use Dynamics 365 and bring the application to more businesses and organizations around the world.