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August 6th, 2013

As previously mentioned in our Data Primer blog, we will be diving into the phases of Data Migration. The first phase of a Data Migration project is the Design phase. Your team will be prepared to spend ample time during this phase to correctly and completely define the migration design strategy prior to beginning. Since 80% of Data Migration projects run over time, budget, or both, this is a crucial step to the project’s success.

During this phase, several very important foundational tasks need to take place:

  • Analyze and define the environment of the legacy infrastructure
    • Number of systems, applications, databases
    • Inside or outside the network?
    • What are the inbound and outbound interfaces?
  • Determine the connectivity for the migration
    • RFC/Remote
    • VPN
    • Citrix
  • Legacy System Data Analysis (LSDA) is performed
    • Analyze the current Business Process and knowledge of the domain
    • Determine the Business and Extraction rules, and selection criteria
    • What is the nature of the data? Standard or Free form?
    • What are the Data Volumes?
    • Define the referential integrity and profiling
  • Define the data model, database reference architecture or data mapping rules
  • Develop an extraction strategy for extracting the different types of source data
  • A cutover strategy is defined – will you run parallel, incremental or “freeze” the data structures while the migration takes place?
  • Roles and responsibilities amongst the team are determined and assigned
  • Communication protocols are established
  • Necessary migration tools are identified and allocated – data modeling tools, data transformation tools, etc. These tools should have the capacity to handle the data being migrated. It is good practice to document the performance of tools being used.
  • The migration strategy and procedures are developed
    • Has the target architecture been designed?
    • How will the data be reconciled?
  • Acceptance criteria is defined and documented
  • Funding for the migration project needs (staff, tools) is obtained

It is of utmost importance not to make assumptions during this phase, be certain to check and double check the above components, gathering all necessary detail in its entirety.

Once these areas have been completed and fully documented, your team will move on to the next phase: Extraction.



Ranganathan, Swati. "Phases of Data migration: Design."Process Improvement Demystified (blog), http://improveprocess.blogspot.com/2009/07/phases-of-data-migration-design.html (accessed July 5, 2013).

Levine, Robert. "Data migration strategies." Wikibon (blog), August 17, 2009. http://wikibon.org/wiki/v/Data_migration_strategies

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