Implementing A New CRM? Make Sure Your Data is Ready for the Move

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If you’ve decided to move your CRM (Customer Relationship Management) solution to the Cloud, you might be tempted by all the space the Cloud contains; it’s infinite. But even though you can move vast amounts of data, should you?

Remember that someone has to move that data. And entities and fields in your legacy CRM must be mapped to the new system. That costs time and money. The wise move is to migrate the data you will actually need going forward.

We suggest reviewing your current data and determining what you should move to your new CRM solution.  Then you can explore what new data, not available with your legacy CRM, you will be able to capture in your new system.

Reviewing current dataData migration

Determining which data to forward to your new CRM involves consulting those persons or teams that were responsible for collecting that data in the first place. You don’t want to leave out information necessary for them to continue their work.

Now ask:

  • What kind of data have we been capturing? Identify any information that is routinely collected and saved but is no longer useful. If none of your teams knows why this information was collected or what value it provides, you might consider not moving it to your new CRM solution.
  • Are there data fields that will no longer be used?  For instance, if your business no longer uses fax transmissions for communications, you probably won’t need a data field for fax correspondence. If a data field hasn’t been used or updated in years, that’s a sign that your team has already moved on to more efficient methods.
  • Are we saving data in fields not designed for it? Has your team been repurposing legacy fields to store information that was never intended to reside there? If you find that a single field is storing multiple types of data used for various purposes, you can split those items into separate fields in your new CRM. Clean, concise data will be critical for making the most of your new solution’s data analytics and automation capabilities.


Identifying new data

After cleaning your existing data, ask yourself what business-critical data you haven’t been capturing in your legacy CRM. This process can improve your ability to create more targeted communications and provide more predictive analytics about your customers’ behavior, allowing you to serve them better.

To consider:

  • Customer communication mediums. Facebook and LinkedIn may not have existed when you implemented your legacy CRM, but now customers use them all the time. Use the information they share to identify their needs and interests.
  • Customer classification. You may want to capture new information about your customers in order to segment and target your communications. You may need specific fields to save, and be able to update, new types of data.
  • Industry changes. Industry regulations change, and you may need to know how they affect your customers and their likelihood of needing your products or services.
  • Analytics. If manual interaction is needed to produce the reports you need, perhaps the underlying data does not support the reporting requirement.


Planning for your migration

Now that you’ve identified the data you want to migrate and the fields you need, it’s time to plan your migration.

Here’s how to get started:

  • Identify which entities and tables should be migrated and document their properties such as data type, size, and any validation or special formatting.
  • Determine any data gaps and double-check that all entities and fields in your legacy system exist in your new system.
  • Determine whether you will migrate a complete set of historical data or a subset created or updated within the past few years.
  • Map legacy users by identifying all existing record owners or assigning a default user. If you have records owned by a former employee, you should decide to whom those records will be assigned going forward.
  • Consider deactivating workflows to avoid sending unintended notifications on record creation, overwriting data, or extending the time it takes to process the data.
  • Disable audit logs and autonumbering; once the migration is complete, these features can be enabled.

By taking a comprehensive approach to examining your data needs, you will lay the foundation to benefit from your CRM while preventing costly and timely data issues. Integration tools such as Tibco Scribe and eOne Smart Connect provide adapters for many systems, including Microsoft Dynamics 365, that can aid in your data migration efforts. Finally, understand data dependencies to determine the order in which data should be migrated. For instance, contact records typically are linked to account records, and it is essential to load account records first so that when migrating contacts, you can specify and populate the parent account field.

Microsoft Gold-certified partner BroadPoint has more than 20 years of experience working with companies to implement Microsoft CRM solutions such as Dynamics 365. Our team of project management professionals, technology consultants, and business partners understands that effective data management and migration is integral to your organization’s new Cloud CRM implementation success. Contact us today to learn more.

By BroadPoint,

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