Data Migration

Part 1: What is Data Relevancy and Why is it Important?

Data Relevancy is an aspect of data quality that determines if the data used or generated is relevant for migration into the new target system.

Prior to any migration or implementation, it is essential to determine the data that will be ported from legacy (source) to new system (target). The process for determining relevant data varies from object to object and requires input from multiple areas within the organization to achieve the full scope of data to be migrated.

This article will aim to serve as a reference for users as a guide in their data migration implementations.

What is Data Relevancy?

Data Relevancy is an aspect of data quality that determines if the data used or generated is relevant for migration into the new target system.

Some examples of relevancy are:

  1. Time dependent functional support (forecasting, sales, etc)
  2. Documentation retention (i.e. invoice, orders, required to be migrated)
  3. Business rules for exceptions (certain data that falls outside of the larger criteria established)

Why is Data Relevancy important to establish for migration?

The impact of establishing data relevancy will long be felt by your project and may become readily apparent with your first data loads for testing. As all transactional objects are dependent on the foundational data existing, if the right rule set is not applied, the waterfall effect of failures will be felt by all functional counterparts.

The key benefits to getting relevancy correct

  1. Simplified key mapping
  2. Reduced enrichment requirements (typically, the data gathers further required fields in a legacy system over time, so older data may not have the necessary fields populated as more recent objects)
  3. Reduced potential environment size
  4. Ensures all relevant documentation for the organization has the proper foundational support

What are the characteristics of Relevant Data?

Determining the characteristics of relevant data is key to ensuring the benefits of applied relevancy during migration. This will act as a safeguard to ensure that any supplementary documentation uses the established foundation as guardrails to prevent additional data points from being brought into the system.

Questions to ask to garner the characteristics of a relevant item:

  1. Time period
  2. Completeness of records
  3. Persistence in documents deemed relevant
  4. Duplicate records for consolidation

An example of applied relevancy and object dependency may play out in a fashion as below:

An order falls within the applicable date range for relevancy to be brought into the system, however the item on that order has been deemed to not be relevant based on criteria established within the relevancy for product.

Now that we understand the need for relevancy in our migration, where do we go from here? Are there any suggested viewpoints on what considerations we should take per domain?

Fear not, faithful reader, this blog is the first of two that will dive into each of these topics! To read the next Relevancy blog featuring Product, click here!

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