Steps to Migrate Your Legacy Data to Dynamics 365

Harvesting enterprise data is central to how organizations compete, and even survive, as industries transform digitally. Yet, as companies grow and technologies shift, managing data has become an extremely complex and critical task, especially handled alongside of an ERP implementation.

For companies moving from an on-premise legacy system to Dynamics 365 Finance, there are some unique challenges and new tools to leverage when considering your data migration activity. Data living in a legacy ERP system will be structured very differently than data

required for D365. It is not a simple mapping from one system to another. The data migration process can be broken down into 6 major steps/stages, each of these stages is focused on a specific activity and are equally important.Dynamics 365 Finance

Evaluate: This is the first step of the process where we evaluate the intent of data migration and define a scope for the data we are trying to migrate. Be sure to identify all different data sources for the data migration, as often time Dynamics 365 implementation replaces more than one application as such you might be migrating data from multiple applications.

Plan & Analyze: Defining the strategy for data migration is the key to the migration to be successful. Most of data migrations fail because of error and lack of planning and mapping. Data mapping tasks vary in complexity, depending on the hierarchy of the data being mapped, as well as the disparity between the structure of the source and the target.

Extract: Define and perform the Data Extraction from your different data sources. You may or may not use a Staging Database to make sure all of the data is of good quality and the type of data that you need in your new system is there.

Clean: Data cleanup is a continuous process and while it should be happening in parallel with all other steps, this stage is the last opportunity to clean the data before loading it in D365.

Load: In this stage, we execute the process to move the data into Dynamics 365. This requires a lot of planning and prep to minimize the impact on the users and maintain business continuity.

Verify: Like cleanup, data validation is a continuous process as well. Validation is required when data is being extracted to ensure all the requisite data is accounted for. Validation is required during cleanup to ensure relevant data is not being removed and at the end and has been loaded correctly.

A tool to help you through this data migration process and to keep your data insightful, is a data warehouse. A data warehouse, like DataCONNECT, is a system that pulls together data from many different sources within an organization for reporting and analysis. This is especially helpful after the data migration process as it consolidates the new data and reports it in a way that encourages faster and informed business decisions. The reports created from complex queries within a data warehouse are used to identify trends and unique statistics so you can know what data you need to pull and analyze.

A Data Warehouse fuels your organization with fast, accurate information, giving you the power to predict, adapt and shape operations with record speed and precision. You’ll be able to quickly pull validated data into forecasting models, so you can begin planning your company’s future.

In today’s high-stakes business environment, companies that differentiate, rely on big data analytics, but also, their historical data. They see how the purposeful, systematic exploitation of their current and past data, coupled with analytics, reveals opportunities for better business outcomes. To learn more about how DataCONNECT or a data warehouse solution can help you migrate your historical data into your new Dynamics 365 system or other ERP, contact us today.

Author: Akhil Ahuja, Director of Business Analytics

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