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February 18, 2010

Data Migration: Challenges of Moving Data to a CRM

Filed under: Data Integration, Data Migration, Data Quality — Tags: , — Olga Belokurskaya @ 4:36 am

CRM is a great solution to effectively manage company’s customer data. However, to ensure efficiency, get the most out of CRM system, and avoid CRM failure, special attention should by paid to the data that is being migrated to a CRM, and how it is being migrated. There are challenges that may affect the process of data migration:

  • Migration from heterogeneous sources. Data migration from various sources to a CRM is a challenge, so it should be approached with care and strategy. Migrating the data just as is leads to a CRM failure, as you simply take siloed data and move it to another system (the data still remains siloed). So, before data migration takes place, there is a work that should be done to ensure the quality of the data that is targeted to a CRM.
  • Data mapping. To migrate data, one should map the source and the target. That’s clear. The problem is, that in different sources data fields possessing equal information, may be named differently (for example, “Username” and “Account”), or vice versa, equally named fields may stand for different values (“Name” may stand for a first name solely, or for the full name, including first name and surname). That’s why it’s very important to map fields in a data source with appropriate fields in a CRM application.

It’s highly probable that before data migration is started, data will need to be transformed, in order to make it appropriate for a new CRM system. Surely, it should be cleaned from duplications, incomplete records, outdated records, etc. Only when data is prepared, clean and in the appropriate format it may be migrated to a CRM.

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