5 Things to Consider Before Data Migration

When moving data from your legacy system to Penelope, Athena Software data specialists will work with you and your project team to ensure your migration is well thought out and successful.

In order to ensure a successful data migration, here are some common pitfalls to avoid:

You Want to Migrate Everything

Often organizations want to bring everything from their legacy system to Penelope, but a migration effort needs to be planned and well thought out so here are some questions to consider:

  • What data will case managers need to help them with their day-to-day work?
  • What data points will be needed for funder or internal reporting?
  • Are you collecting data that you are not using?

The effort should focus on bringing useful points of information forward with your user’s workflow in mind.

Involve all stakeholders in the planning of your migration to ensure you will need what you plan to migrate.

You’re Planning for the Past

When migrating data from a legacy system to Penelope, planning should focus on the future, not on the present or ‘as is’ state.

  • What do you want your workflow to look like?
  • How can you streamline and remove duplication?

Your Penelope configuration should not be built to match your old workflow or to fit a migration of legacy data.

Future-focused planning may mean that some fields are not brought in to Penelope.

Your migration plan should focus on improvement, and not be held back by your old system’s configuration.

This may be difficult at first, but using the feature-set available in Penelope will provide a smooth workflow for your staff and will also allow you to use the wide-range of built-in Penelope reports.

Duplicating Data

Some questions to ask when moving from a legacy system to Penelope:

  • Are you keeping your legacy system for archiving purposes?
  • Is your Go-Live date scheduled to coincide with your reporting period or fiscal year?

Often it is better to start fresh in your new system, but if your old system is available as a reporting archive, use it!

This is a great resource and it helps to limit the pitfalls of planning a configuration to suit a migration, and not to suit future workflow and reporting needs.

Migrating Poor Quality Data

There is no sense in mapping out your migration only to have errors and headaches occur during the migration process because the data isn’t clean.

Consider how much work needs to be done to clean your data.

Is it worth the time and resources for this work?

Are there some columns that should be left out to limit the work required bring the data to the clean state it needs to be in?

Focus your migration on bringing over quality, issue-free data.

Not Knowing how to Access Your Data

Understanding how you can migrate the data from your legacy system means understanding where the data lives and how it can be extracted.

  • Do you need to be in contact with your previous provider?
  • Can you extract the data yourself to prepare for your migration?
  • Do you own the data or is it owned by a funder or other entity?
  • Is there a cost to have your data extracted?

Planning for your migration should include a thorough understanding of how your data can be extracted and what the steps to achieving this will be.

Athena Software wants your migration to be successful – let us help you to plan for this important step in your implementation.


Written by Amanda McInnis