Performing a proper data migration is a lot like moving to a new office. If you don't take the time to carefully organize items as you're packing them up, it'll be chaos once you arrive at your destination. However, we all know we're going to end up with a few boxes full of miscellaneous odds and ends. Unfortunately, when it comes to your data, that approach can land you in serious trouble. Here's how to migrate data the right way.
1. Know Your Data
First and foremost, you need to know your data. Migrating data is more than simply copying and pasting all your files from one location to another. You have a unique opportunity to clean up your data, discard unnecessary files, and improve organization and data security. Nevertheless, that's only possible if you understand what files you have and how they can benefit your business.
Before you start your migration, consider getting a data assessment to give you a better understanding of your organization's data as a whole. You may be surprised to find that a significant portion of your data is “dark data”, or data that you aren't even aware of. Perhaps you'll find some useful data in the mix. At the very least, you'll lighten the load for your migration.
2. Remove the ROT
ROT – Redundant, Obsolete and Trivial Data, can slow down your data migration and even increase your data risk. Most organizations have more ROT than they realize. ROT data is born unbeknownst to your employees as they use programs. These programs leave traces of your workin the form of temp files or backup saves. Even all of those drafts and work-in-progress files regularly end up as ROT data.
Much of this data belongs firmly in the dumpster. You wouldn't bother bringing your trash from your old office to your new one, so don't make that mistake with your data. But how do you find ROT data and remove it? You need automation. Tools that can scan your whole company's data system and find redundancies or outdated files will make it easy to locate, identify, and remove ROT before you begin your migration project.
3. Strengthen Security
Be extra careful during your migration. Data is at its most vulnerable when it's in motion. Consider taking a more defensive approach when you migrate sensitive information, including company secrets or consumer personal information. Banks transfer large sums of money in armored vehicles and have a team ready at both ends to respond to any type of attack. Treat your high-value data the same way.
While you're in the process of migrating your data, it's a good time to reevaluate how you handle data security in general.Are access permissions deliberately assigned to ensure that only those who need access have it? Does your file system have a protocol in place for data that may be subject to laws like the GDPR or CCPA? Now's a good time to strengthen your security and your compliance with data privacy laws.
4. Prepare for the Future
A data migration is the perfect opportunity to clean house and give your data management a breath of fresh air. However, if you don't take steps to keep it that way, you'll be back to data chaos before you know it. You can make your migration smooth and help keep your data tidy by implementing automation that helps you to truly know your data from the very beginning.
Aparavi is an automated data management platform that helps you know your data and keep it organized. Ask Aparavi for a demo where our data experts (no sales involved) will walk you through how it can make your next migration a breeze.