Data migration is the process of transferring data from one software or hardware to another software or hardware. Although the term only means as much, it is typically used in reference to more prominent companies with huge amounts of data. These companies may be moving their data from one software to another to revamp their technical infrastructure and gain more security for their data.
In recent times, data has become the fuel of every organization. Losing some amount of data might mean that the organization loses its time, energy, clients, or even money. That’s why data migration is an extremely sensitive process. When done carelessly or without adequate technical support and knowledge, a company can suffer a lot.
Here is a list of some of the most common data migration errors:
Error caused by inadequate knowledge
While migrating higher quantities of data, it is vital that all essential information about the nature of data be available and considered. It is a standard error to assume that your data in the existing form would be compatible with the new system. However, minor spelling errors, missing information, incorrect information, and duplicate data could lead to critical failures in the process.
The detailed data analysis
Often during data migration, it is difficult to have a complete picture of the nooks and corners of the system that has valuable data. This leads to a taxing miscalculation of the available data, leading to incomplete and outdated data being migrated.
Often these errors are only brought into notice when the migration is halfway done, or the system is completely set, and it is often too late by then to correct the data. Data migration should always follow a thorough data analysis and a holistic idea of migrating the available data.
Human and coordination error
Data migration is an arduous process that involves multiple people, multiple systems, multiple sources, and multiple phases. Human beings are destined to make judgment and combination errors, which leads to a loss of data or a chaotic and scattered migration process. This is why organizations must make sure that the process of data migration happens in a transparent and integrated way, with every stage being recorded to avoid any miscommunication or misinterpretation.
Not backing up the backup
This is the most nerve-wracking part of data migration. How many backups do you need for your backup? When do you know that all your data is 100% secure? Data migration often costs data itself, and all systems are subject to their share of risk. When data is being migrated, it is always recommended to be strategically backed up in different places.
If the data is securely backed up, the process can afford some errors as the data can be recovered even if lost or migrated.
On top of the software compatibility issues, sometimes the destination hardware cannot essentially hold securely the amount of data migrated either due to smaller memory margins or substandard quality of the hardware or simply due to the lack of compatibility, hardware issues can lead to a severe loss of data. This is why checking through the hardware quality and running its compatibility to the data being migrated is vital for the successful conduct of the process.
Lack of strategy
Data migration is all about its management. People often presume a degree of simplicity to the process. It is easy to assume that data migration is all about sound technology and backing up the data. But without a proper migration strategy, the entire process can go astray. Without properly segmenting and labeling the data, even the data that’s successfully migrated might be hard to locate. Without knowing exactly what segment of data to migrate and in what order, the process can be chaotic and lead to loss of data.
The list of errors can go on. But what’s more important is to understand that certain processes, however simple they sound on paper, need professional assistance. It is always better to get a job done by someone that knows how to do it than settle for a work half done and with half data lost.
Data migration, in short, occurs due to –
- Failure of copy processes
- Server crashes
- Crash or unavailability of storage device
- Array failure (data center issue)
- Complete system failure (significant data loss)
- Data corruption during the process
- Data was terrible all along
To be fair, data migration, especially in prominent organizations with higher volumes of data accumulated over many years that need to be migrated, some degree of error is inevitable. There will be some data corruption and loss. And if not that, there will be at least device and system incompatibilities. If the software and hardware work, human judgment is always subject to make mistakes. If not this, even the lack of a proper system leads to data migration errors.
What this means is that data migration is more about prioritizing and placing data than just migrating it across devices. However plain and technical of a job it sounds, data migration is vastly dependent on human judgment and prone to human error. The success of a data migration project will depend on the coordination of the team, the stability of the system at hand, the strategy applied, and the quality of the data.