In almost every business, an exorbitant amount of data is generated, shared, saved, and transferred at any given time. While this has proven true for decades, and especially in the Information Age, the recent boom of the Internet of Things (IoT) means that our capacity to create and disseminate data has been enormously proliferated. We can now accumulate information from across the globe, and send it just as far. From social networking to wearables and every smart device in between, we’re immersed in the opportunity to absorb content every single day.
While at the onset this influx can seem overwhelming, it also provides unparalleled opportunity. Never before have we been afforded such visibility into our core audience’s preferences, been able to connect with them so effortlessly and meaningfully, and then been able to leverage and analyze these insights to drive more effective and personal business communication in the future. The key in making sure your data is working for you is storing it all on a centralized CRM database, ensuring that no matter where in the world your employees or customers are, your data is accessible, useful, and actionable when and where you need it.
Once in place, a powerful CRM database can be used to quickly capture data insights in real time and organize them in customizable formats to fit your specific business needs, boosting team performance and enabling more accurate decision-making. But what do you do when your most valuable data is currently sitting in disparate, on-premise legacy systems, scattered among locations and, without IT intervention, is essentially locked from the people who need it the most—your employees? It’s a challenge felt across industries—in fact, a recent survey reveals that 48 percent of CIOs count data migration as their top pain point.
Thankfully, the process doesn’t have to be painful. Here are some easy tips to help you move seamlessly into a dynamic CRM integration:
Plan It Out
Before deciding on a data migration approach, it’s best to figure out exactly what data you intend to migrate over. To do this, carefully inventory all existing data—noting who owns it, where it resides, and how to access it. You may find that you need every single bit from your current data stores, or you may discover that only portions of it are valuable. In the end, all users should have access to the information they need to perform daily tasks.
Design and Define
Once data sources are identified, Bluewolf recommends creating a visual “Source to Destination Entity Document” that clearly identifies to employees all data sources, their respective entities, and where they will be mapped location on the new platform. Distribute the document to all teams to make sure all their required data and entities are captured. For instance, customer service reps might notice their critical ticketing database isn’t captured, or a marketing rep might notice their campaign tracking metrics are missing. Making the necessary changes now will be much easier than trying to go back and add them down the road.
Clean It Up
Ensure the data making the move with you is in the most actionable form possible—this means removing duplicate records, incomplete sets, and any other issue that may prevent it from being used to its potential. To be successful, a CRM database must be populated with data that’s not only relevant, but complete.
Strategize the Move
Consider moving data over in increments, allowing users and stakeholders to view sample sets to identify and correct any issues. Then, once you’ve got the green light, it may be easier to identify areas of development and send the data over in chunks versus a universal sweep
Review and Reconcile
After the transformation, identify key areas of interest and audit the “before and after” data to make sure it matches. Some important elements to reconcile include data dealing with finances, record owners, and information sorted into groups (e.g. number of opportunities, number of sales reps). If your migration takes into account purposely adjusting data across the move so it doesn’t match its previous state, be sure to make a note of it for future reference.
Deciding to make the jump from legacy systems to a CRM database is an excellent first step in consolidating your data into a resource that’s not only more accessible, but also actionable—providing your teams with control over how key insights are shared and used. Taking a planned and strategic approach to data migration can make the transformation smoother and more effective—leading to systems that operate the same way.
Mitchell, Gareth, “4 Steps to Seamless Salesforce Data Migration,” Bluewolf, April 22, 2015, http://www.bluewolfconsulting.co.uk/blog/achieve-seamless-salesforce-data-migration.
Hiremath, Naveen, “Data Is The New Oil — Strategies For A Seamless Salesforce Data Integration,” Bluewolf, June 12, 2015, http://www.bluewolfconsulting.co.uk/blog/data-new-oil-strategies-seamless-salesforce-data-integration.