Database Conversion

Database conversion is one of he biggest headaches of moving from one platform to another. Data is knowledge and knowledge is power. Getting this step wrong means that your company can lose its effective leading edge while your team takes the time to re-group and relearn what was lost.

We understand that you do not need to know what data types and conditions are. Your involvement needs to stop at the Business Case. You need to focus on delivering your outcomes and we respect that.

Converting data between systems is non-trivial. Some of the data does lend itself to seemingly easy transfer – for example “Notes” going from one system to another. The complexity in database structures comes from relationships. How does this note relate to that record and this event at the same time?

A typical approach is to dump data into a spreadsheet as an export. This is a valid approach for small or single use data sets (eg: a mailing list). Be aware that the moment you do this you have broken the relationships between data sets. There is a mindset that “we will dump these records now and add to them later with another dump (export)”. Since the relationships are lost there is often no way of aligning the first dump/export with subsequent ones.

Databases, as in the most commonly used ones, are RDBMS – the give away here is the “R” – it stands for Relational. If you cannot relate data, for example people to jobs, then it has no value.

Our process is to asses your data prior to a change of system and give you the insights of what will get across and what will potentially be lost. We can work with your vendors at a technical level to push for adjustments to the receiving system so that as much as can be retained in the new system is captured.