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DATA MIGRATIONS

Well planned and executed data migration is key to any successful system implementation – this is a LEVEL8 specialism

LEVEL8  have been working with data migrations from and to Unit4 Financials and CODA for decades now. Our team of system specialists will ensure your Unit4 Financials data migration is handled professionally and achieves agreed outcomes.

Data migration is a critical phase in any new system implementation as you need to import data from an ‘old, replaced or legacy’ system into the new one in order to retain historic transactions and ensure that you don’t lose an important part of the true picture of your business.

Occasionally, you may also need to bulk load data (what we call high volume interfacing) into an existing system – possibly due to a company merger, de-merger, company hives, year-end changes and alignments etc. – in order to bring it up to date and capable of managing the business going forward. 

Both of these data management exercises are crucial to the effective functioning of your business management systems going in to the future and getting a data migration or import to your system wrong can have serious negative knock-on effects for many years to come. We’ll guide you through the process to achieve a successful outcome and the continuing effectiveness of your systems and data.

Data Migrations & Interfacing

High volume interfacing and data migration are very similar in nature. Both processes require high levels of data integrity to be maintained throughout the ETL (Extract, Transform, Load) process and we view certain actions as essential:

> Reconciliations checks and balances between source and destination systems
> Data mapping
> Data quality, cleansing and integrity
> Strong audit trail
> Process timing
> Producing statistical data including the amount of data to be processed and the time taken

A Summary of Considerations for Data Migrations

The items below illustrate the expertise, care and attention that LEVEL8 bring to all of our data migration projects for clients. We don’t believe in cutting corners when it comes to your critical systems and business data. While not exhaustive, this list of considerations demonstrates the level of detail to which we will go to ensure a successful data migration or high volume data interface:

Checks and balances

In general, for any migrated data you will need reports and reconciliation to compare the data in the old system to that in the new system. You need to know that the data has been migrated cleanly. For a finance system, a trial balance is an obvious starting point, but other common checks include hash totals, line counts and records processed.

Data mapping and translation

It is often the case that the data in the new system will be slightly or significantly different from the old system. You may have a new set of nominal accounts, customer and supplier codes may be changed and so on. The more complex the requirements here, the more complex the migration becomes. At its most complex, this exercise can become a full blown interface in itself, albeit one that is used once, and then discarded.

Data quality, cleansing and integrity

It is often the case that during a migration you find that your old system had data issues that you never even knew about. In the context of the migration decisions will be required on how to correct the data so that it arrives in the new system in a ‘good’ state. Data cleansing is an important part of a migration. It may become a significant part of the overall project if there is much to do; or there may just be a handful of cases which are trivial and that can be corrected manually in five minutes.

Audit trail

A strong audit trail is recommended and is often essential, in order that every data record in the new system can be tracked back to the corresponding data record in the old system. If there is much data translation and mapping, or data cleansing issues, then this can become quite onerous. Data volumes may mean that detailed audit trails are not feasible, in which case alternative higher level controls may need to be used, such as hash totals and record or line counts.

Data volumes

Data volumes in a migration can cause considerable problems, these issues can be two-fold: There is too much data and not enough time to migrate it OR there is so much data, that it would slow down any new system e.g. reporting may struggle.

LEVEL8 are subject matter experts in CODA/Unit4 Financials and will be able to guide you on sensible strategies to adopt following a migration such as archiving non-current transactional data or only migrating balances for historic data. Whether period-by-period balances or year-end and possibly in summarised form e.g. Nominal Trial Balances only. These considerations will have a significant impact and will play a major part in deciding the approach to the migration.

Amount of detail

There are two general options for the amount of detail involved in any financial data migration: Bring across full historic detail OR just historic year end / period balances.

Factors influencing which option is most appropriate include:

> The amount of data – does new system have capacity?

> Time – it can often take many hours, sometimes stretching to days to actually run data in. Is this acceptable?

> Can you migrate historic data in the weeks before hand in order to take some of the pressure off the ‘cut over’ weekend?

> If detailed data required then will it come over reconciled (e.g. payments to invoices), or does this need to be re-applied?

 Current/previous period balances

Often businesses will switch systems at period end and current proposed closing balances may not be known for a few days until accounting have closed the period. This can therefore mean that the most recent period is only migrated a week or two after cut-over which will impact:

> Open items & unreconciled transactions

> Unpaid supplier invoices

> Outstanding customer invoices

> Bank reconciliations.

Effective, tried and tested strategies, along with extreme attention to detail, are essential to get every data migration project right. This is what we offer.

Contact LEVEL8 today to discuss your requirements.

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