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TL;DR: Data migration and cleanup can be scary but it doesn’t have to be. We share our data migration playbook here in full for you. We’re ready to help you simplify, accelerate and transform your CRM migration and data cleanup project. Let Redpath put the Wow! Into your data migration project.
Welcome Back to the Redpath Blog! We’ve missed you. So let’s get started with a big topic: Migrating data from an older CRM to Salesforce. Migrating and cleaning up data can be an anxiety inducing prospect. Some CRM admins prefer migraines to migrating CRM data. There’s a lot to consider. But just like eating an elephant, you can do it if you take it one bite at a time! So let’s dig in.
The prospect of data migration and cleanup is scary. For some it’s the uncertainty of what’s true and what’s old. For others it’s the spectre of accidentally deleting some data that sales or marketing actually wanted. For all it’s the fear of how complex and long such a project might take.
Instead of more anxiety, let’s stop the bleeding, rip off the bandage and fix this together. Redpath makes it simple and fast.
We have created a proven and simple process to migrate, clean and refresh your data while keeping it all secure. This is your data migration workbook. Each step is simple to execute but don’t be tempted to skip it. Each step is important to establish a complete and successful process.
The specifics of every company’s exact scenario will vary, but here’s our guide to four must-use strategies for your company’s migration/cleanup project. Give this a whirl, or give us a call and we’ll walk you through it together.
Identify Your Migration Timeframe.
Do you want to keep all your old data? Do you need to keep all your old data? Most companies have many gigabytes or even terabytes of old CRM data stored in their legacy systems, spreadsheets and data warehouses. So step one is determining what you must keep and what you should keep. Do you need the last 10 years of data for compliance purposes? Or do you just want the last 3 years of data because that’s what you actually work on now? What data is active and important now? What customers, users or donors might be likely to reactivate with a little attention?
Figure out your useful data time frame and then plan to put the rest into legacy storage if you are required to keep it.
Size The Storage.
Just how much stuff do you have to move over? How many Gigabytes of data do you actually want to migrate? It’s a good idea to get an idea of the complete total that you have for all of your data and then the total that you want to migrate. If you have 100 Gigabytes of “all time” total data, but only 20 Gigabytes of “active” data from the last 3 years that you want to move, then that is an important sizing metric that will impact the size, scope and cost of your project.
With Redpath’s proven data migration and cleaning process, you’ll likely be able to compress your final storage needs even more since we can eliminate duplicate data and combine records that should be combined. This helps to further save costs and accelerate your project timelines.
Count The Records.
Your CRM data is organized into records like leads, opportunities, contacts, accounts, and special items like contracts, quotes, donors, tickets, users and posts. Count them. Get a ball-park idea of how many of each kind of record you have. This will help you scope your project and estimate the level of effort and time to completion.
Establish The Creation Pace.
Your business moves at its own unique pace. What is that pace? Identifying your rate of record creation is an important metric for sizing your migration destination. If you license just enough space for your migration you have no room to grow or continue doing business. So identify the rate at which you create new leads, contacts, opportunities, accounts or any of the special records that you may use in your business.
Take the total number of records you have and divide it by the number of years you have been tracking it and you’ll get a rough approximation of your creation pace. If you create 100 or 10,000 records a year on average, build that into your sizing calculations and licensing. You’ll be glad you did!
Map And Configure The Destination Fields.
Salesforce CRM has a lot of flexibility. You could map every field you have in your legacy CRM to an existing or custom field in your new Salesforce system. But you probably shouldn’t! Here’s why. Sales processes and customer interaction organizations change. Some of the things that you thought were important 3 years ago simply don’t apply now. So if you used to capture a contact’s birthday but you don’t gather that info now and you never did anything with it anyway, don’t spend the time, money or space on migrating it over into a custom CRM field. Instead, merge that data into a catch all field in Salesforce. You’ll save a small amount of space on each record and a potentially large amount overall!
Similar to mapping the fields, identify that data that must be the same from one record to the next. Sales people absolutely *hate* doing process work. They love selling! So don’t architect a system that makes them re-enter information that has already been captured! If a prospect enters his or her job title as a lead then don’t design your CRM so that the sales rep has to enter that information in a contact or opportunity record. Identify the data that should be automatically inherited from preceding records to subsequent records.
To the extent possible, in your legacy system, deduplicate your records. Merge data from fields that are redundant. The more you can prune, deduplicate and merge at this point, the happier and faster you’ll be later on! Identify unique IDs like email addresses or phone numbers. Merge those records to the best extent possible.
Build The Extraction Routines, Test & Review.
Now you’ve got your data range identified. You’ve got the data identified you want to keep. Do the export. Create the export routines and processes to pull the data out of your legacy systems and put it in a format that is ready to be ingested into Salesforce. Some systems may have direct API calls, and that’s great. Whether you extract to a .CSV file or perform a direct import via API, you want to take the time to review the data export. Did the data you expect get pulled? Is it formatted as expected? Are you pulling data as strings where you expected ints? Review the data. Review the data types and review the quantities. Are you pulling about as much data as you expected to pull?
Test The Import.
This is where having a skilled guide like Redpath at your side is vital. Salesforce dependencies mean that there is an order of import that must be followed. Salesforce CRM has relationships with hard dependencies. For instance, accounts have account owners. Opportunities must be associated with an account. So from a data migration standpoint, your salesforce users must be created first. Accounts must be imported before opportunities. Contacts may be associated with an account and an opportunity, so having those in place before contacts are brought in is important. Having Redpath at your side ensures that dependencies are all identified and that you never miss a beat. Our certified solution experts understand the intricacies of Salesforce dependencies.
Now that you’ve created your extraction routines, validated the extracted data and have some data to work with, try the import process with just 1 or 2 records. This is vital before you kick off a huge import process. Try just a handful of imports from your extracted data set. Try at least 1 of each destination record type to ensure that fields are mapped correctly, datatypes are set correctly and results appear the way you expect them. This is likely the step that may require several iterations as you correct errors in data typing, field mapping and import processing. But don’t skip it. Extra time here will guarantee a lot less pain later on!
Pull The Trigger
It’s time! You’ve identified, sized, cleaned, tested and you’re ready! During off peak hours, hit the GO button.
Make sure that your source extraction files have an extra column that identifies their destination object type or database table. This way, if you have 25,000 records identified as contacts in your source files and only 24,800 contacts in salesforce after your migration is complete, you know that 200 contact records did not make it in for some reason. Now you can track those exceptions down.
All your work up to this point means that there are few surprises. Let the Salesforce import do its thing. The import process will go faster than you think if your destination is configured and sized correctly. Don’t forget order of import matters! Redpath can guide you on your way to ensure there are no interruptions!
Check And Correct
Inevitably there will be exceptions. There will be records that did not import correctly (or at all!) Exception handling is part of the process. Review one-off errors and either manually correct them or decide that they can exist as-is. In the event that there is a major oversight, rewind, correct and restart. With Redpath at your side the need to unwind and redo a migration is unheard of. So reach out and let us partner together.
The Redpath Way: Putting The Wow! Into Data Migration
At Redpath we have thousands of hours of data cleaning, migration, ETL and configuration under our belt. We love these kinds of projects because they inevitably deliver a huge benefit to our customers. So ask us how we can help you simplify, accelerate and transform your CRM data migration and data cleaning initiative to deliver amazing results!