Data Migration – What You Should Keep in Mind When Transferring Data to the CRM System

On the way to a successful CRM system introduction, the migration of legacy data plays a decisive role. A conscientious preparation prevents later manual corrections. We will also show you what else to look out for.

The Initial Situation: Maintained Data, Duplicates and Data Corpses

Long before you think about introducing a CRM system, your company accumulates a large number of different data stocks. These include, for example, classic customer contact data, e-mails, telephone notes, appointments, minutes, offer documents, data from marketing campaigns or sales campaigns. These data are often stored in Excel, self-knitted Access databases, Outlook, Lotus Notes or Groupwise, on the file system or in ERP.

When introducing new CRM software, the first step is to prepare clean documentation about the current database and its future. Orient yourself on the following key questions:

  • Which data is available where and in which form?
  • Which data should be transferred from the old system to the new system?
  • Clarify with the provider: Is the data structure of the existing inventory compatible with the new CRM software?

Absolutely Critical to Success: The Quality of Legacy Data

The most important factor for a successful legacy data migration is the quality of the legacy data to be migrated. Data maintenance in the various systems has often been neglected over the years.

Our advice

When deciding on CRM software, check which concepts and practical experience the provider has in this field. A good CRM provider will be happy to help you with a direct contact person from a reference project.

Migration Concept and Data Cleaning

The concept for the migration of this data is derived from the recorded actual status of your existing database. Consider whether it makes sense to disconnect from data ballast at this point: So if all existing data really must be transferred to the new system or if data should be excluded from the migration according to fixed criteria (e.g. all companies where no processes and activities have taken place in the past x years are not transferred to the CRM solution).

As a rule, you (the customer) should carry out the data cleansing yourself. After all, you know your data best. Modern CRM systems conveniently offer you the opportunity to import your legacy data into a laboratory environment of the CRM system, clean it up there and then restore it to the legacy system in its cleaned state. The old data migration is carried out via CSV import or XML, for example.

Step by step to your goal:

1. analysis of existing legacy data
2. decision which data are transferred and which are not
3. mapping between legacy system and new CRM
4. cleaning of the old data stock – best supported by the duplicate cleaning of the new CRM system
5. testing the quality of the data taken over by sampling

This Is How the Data Transfer Works

The legacy data transfer can be regarded as a conclusion: Prepare the migration in good time for the introduction of a CRM implementation. A careful analysis of your database, the elaboration of a detailed timetable and the assistance of your CRM provider with regard to the compatibility of different data structures avoid cost-intensive and time-consuming corrections.

In any case, do not neglect legacy data migration. The knowledge and work that goes into the old data should not simply be abandoned, but rather transferred to the new CRM solution as far as possible.

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