A Layman's Guide To Data Conversion

Data conversion is also known as data migration. So, what is data conversion? Data conversion can be defined as a process of converting specific data from one format to another.  There are many reasons why data conversion is performed, and some of those reasons include software or hardware upgrades, a data center move, business expansions, normalization of data, combining multiple systems into one strong system, and so on.

Planning for a Data Conversion

When it comes to planning for a data conversion, reviewing existing organizational procedures and policies, security and business processes is required. If you want the data conversion and migration to be successful, you need to remember that it often requires both human and software intervention. This is especially the case when the data that you want to convert to another format is contained within the database.

Information Is Easy to Discard

You also need to remember one more thing, and that is that the information is easy to discard, but it is almost impossible (if not completely impossible) to restore. Make sure to remember this at all times, but especially when you want to convert from one type of data to another.

Best Practices

Here are some things that you need to remember about data conversion. Make sure to keep these in mind at all times.

- Risk – When it comes to data conversion, you need to identify any potential project risks as early as possible. Document those risks and talk about them with the stakeholders and project sponsors.

- Plan – If you want your project to be successful, you need to remember that careful planning is one of the most important things when it comes to data conversion.

- Communicate – Effectively communicate every single step and detail of the planned data conversion process to avoid confusion and misinterpretation.

- Stakeholders – Make sure to involve relevant stakeholders and business owners.

- Backup – Always keep system backups on your mind, just in case you need to revert back to a specific point in the system's life. If you aren't already considering it, a data center move could be helpful if you can find a facility that can provide more secure and reliable storage for your data silos. 

- Test sample – Before you apply the solution to the entire system, make sure to perform a test conversion with a sample of the data to see how is everything going to react.

- Full test – Think about everything that you need to do when converting data from one format to another and perform a full test.

- Validate – One last thing that you need to do is check the converted data to see if it is accurate and complete.

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