As an organization outgrows its current systems, there should be a strategic push to identify the system that will sustain the organization in the future. At the very foundation of any system (ERP, CRM, PSA, Demand Planning, Inventory Management) is clean and actionable data; however, that data rarely starts out in its cleanest state. The implementation of a new system provides the organization a tremendous opportunity to enhance data management and ultimately provide leadership sound insights.
It is often the case that data migration is one of the last steps prior to the migration to a new system; however, I would argue that it needs to be addressed early and often in the project. A good system design starts with an analysis of the future state reporting; from all business lines, departments and subsidiaries. A deep dive into the insights that the organization needs to sustain and growth the business should be taken and should expand far beyond analyzing financial statements. Data ultimately drives reporting and for that reason it should be visible throughout the process.
When the data migration phase of the project arrives, it should consist of final cleanup and conversion to the new system…rather than a fact finding mission. It is too often the case that this is the first time that the historic or current data has been viewed in depth and I would argue that this is simply too late in the project to take the first look. If the data is first viewed during the migration state, then the entire system design could be in jeopardy as it was not constructed with the end result in mind.
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