For business management solutions email us or call 020 3004 4600

How to successfully start & manage a finance data migration

It goes without saying but after a Business Central implementation project starts, the senior figures as well as the users tend to steer clear at this point, leaving the project manager and their team to iron out all the finer details. However, this is the mistake that can often cause problems further down the line. 

When it comes to migrating data in a Business Central implementation, this requires careful and considered planning and resourcing. Therefore, you should steer away from the opinion that this aspect of the project is solely for the IT team to resolve. 

The way in which you should be looking at this is the fact that data migration is an overall business activity. Therefore, you need to ensure that everyone in the business including the owners of the data, are involved in this part of the process. Look at it this way, your businesses' whole operations, reporting as well as compliance heavily rely on accurate, complete and fully accessible data, so this is something that you can't afford to mess up. 

The people that own the data have a firm understanding of exactly what data needs to be migrated over. They need to make sure that all the data they need is migrated across and have the ability to be able to interpret the results. 

Context and usage are king 

To give you an example of this, let’s look at the main finance system in Business Central. The data you require in this case is largely static such as names, addresses, accounting summary information as well as accounting transaction data. 

It is pretty clear what these datasets are, however, they aren’t as simple to find, access, validate and map. Therefore, you need to take extra care when you gather them to ensure that you have a comprehensive dataset that covers all the business requirements and use cases with no inaccuracies when you make the switch to the new Business Central system. 

What questions need to be asked during the data collation process? 

When you are at this stage of the process, there will be a whole host of questions that will need to be answered. This task is unrealistic if you don’t have the involvement of the people that own the data in your business. Make sure you know who they are in the project plan then explain exactly why they need to contribute to the project along with the information that they will need to provide as well as how much time and resources that they will need to allocate to this project. 

Here at Advantage, we have a set of questions that we use to make sure we engage with the right people where their knowledge will help to ensure that the right data is successfully migrated as well as helping to ensure that the data is accurate and fit for purpose in the new system. 

1) Where is the source data located? 

2) Who owns the data? 

3) How easy is it to access the data from a technical viewpoint? 

4) Who has the best knowledge when it comes to content? 

5) How much data are we talking? 

6) Who will be in charge of the overall data quality and making any necessary changes? 

7) How will the data be mapped from the old system to Business Central? 

8) What audit requirements are there to show the migration? 

Collaboration and communication are key 

The key to any successful Business Central deployment is the collaboration between all stakeholders of the business. Choosing to work with a Business Central specialist such as Advantage that grasps how your business operates is crucial in order to get the buy in from your colleagues across your business. Better still, picking a partner such as Advantage who have experience in working across multiple industries and sectors is crucial. These partners have the ability to engage with data owners and users at the right level, instilling confidence in them to collaborate with the IT team to give direction and invaluable input to help achieve a successful data and system migration. 

Next Steps? 

The team of Business Central experts here at Advantage have a long line of experience in implementing Business Central across multiple sectors and industries which have included a number of substantial data migrations from legacy systemsGive our team a call if you are interested in finding out more about how we can help your business to successfully complete a Business Central project. 

Want to get articles like the above sent to you directly? This can happen if you sign up to our mailing list.