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7 Steps to Simplify the Talent Data Migration Process

January 21, 2020

Migrating your talent data from old, outdated systems to new ones - whether that's an all-in-one, comprehensive solution or a "stack" of different applications - is an important step in modernizing and optimizing your organization's talent future.  Including in your data management!  Handily, in 2020 this migration task is no longer as  complicated as it once was - and you will need to make a LOT fewer tradeoffs to get to your final goal. 

In this post, we'll examine seven steps you and your organization can take to simplify the talent data migration process. 

1. Integrate Your Business Team Into the Process

Before you begin, it's important to talk with your non-technical team members about the process. They may not be the ones implementing any changes, but they have been or will be responsible for handling the talent data being migrated - and they are the ones with the deep understanding of the business value of the data itself. For many of the considerations listed below, you may need to conduct targeted interviews to find out specifics like the quality of data stored, what type of information is being migrated, the needs and processes wrapped around data, and any other data-related issues. 

Anyone within your organization who serves as a touchpoint for your talent data should have a voice in this process. This includes business , human resources, analytic and operational team members. Seek their guidance on issues such as what type of data your current platform has, what they'll need going forward, and what capabilities they'll need in accessing it.  And don't forget to ask what they want to KNOW from data (via analytics and reporting) to help them make better decisions.  Data isn't just about processes, it's also about decisions.

2. Build Your Data Migration Team for this Project

Build a team within your organization who possess a solid understanding of your current systems who can translate the data into your new platform. Have this team connect with the aforementioned non-technical team members as well. Having both sides communicate will lower the odds of you mismanaging your data - and lower the odds of your key stakeholders having regrets in the future.

And don't forget, your data lake can be one of the key players in the project, doing all your heavy lifting and minimizing all of your risks.

3. Take an Inventory of All Systems

Take an inventory of all the places you currently store talent data. This can include your customer-relationship management (CRM) tool, your applicant tracking software (ATS), internal and external job boards, your company's intranet, a range of spreadsheets and directories, and a huge range of other datasets that can have value. This ensures there is no gap in information migrated from your existing systems to your new platform. 

It's also critical to ensure that the new platform to which you're migrating is capable of connecting all your existing systems - otherwise, the process may become complex and harder to manage as you move forward. Pick a versatile platform that doesn't need to fit your old systems exactly - it can accommodate multiple types of systems and data entry, ensuring nothing is lost. 

Importantly, you do NOT need to migrate all your systems at once.  It can be an iterative, adaptive process (assuming you have a data lake).

4. Check Your Data

Review your data to verify exactly what type of content you're transferring into the new system. Has your non-technical team identified any specific data categories as having greater levels of importance? Having one last quality assurance check of your data will help expedite the process later. 

Take a look at the types of data, too.  What will you do with unstructured data?  How about data that doesn't neatly fit in the new system?  Messy data that needs normalizing?  Don't plan to throw it out just because it doesn't fit, because that will harm your future AI and machine learning efforts!

The complexity level of your data can vary, which will impact your migration process. If the platform you're migrating to has an unsophisticated data structure, you may have to perform a heavy extract transform and load - but you actually don't have to.  You can preserve and give users access to ALL your data while only technically moving part of it to your new system/s. Use to a platform that automates the process for you so you can avoid that, making the migration much more efficient.

5. Does Your Data Need Protecting? 

How much of your data is confidential? How much of it is personally identifiable candidate information? If you're moving any confidential data at all, you'll need to ensure your process, your transmission mechanisms, and your new platform have the right security measures in place. While a data breach is unlikely, having it happen during the migration process could be incredibly costly to your operations. The time, money, and resources required for a full recovery could be significant. 

6. Develop a Timeline and Then Make Your Team Aware

Set a realistic timeline for migration. Share this schedule with your entire team - meaning anyone who needs access to your new talent data management platform. 

If there are any disruptions to the schedule, share these with your team as well. This helps you set reasonable expectations for completion and implementation and limits the number of surprises. 

And don't forget to use a data lake so that if you DO want to change something later, it's easy to do so.

7. Make Sure Your Data Lake, Warehouse or Platform is the Right Fit

As you and your team consider the issues outlined above, the most critical part of the process is knowing your data is migrating to the right home. For example, will your new system give you the capability to keep and display your old data, staying constantly connected? Is your new system flexible enough to accept data from a wide variety of systems and give you the ability to continually access that data? 

Your new platform should be a comprehensive solution that serves all of your talent data needs. Otherwise, a time-intensive migration process may not be worth the trouble. 

SwoopTalent can help you with all your talent data migration solutions. Our platform contains the versatility and flexibility you need to connect all your old systems and continually display data from those systems on your new platform. You won't have to worry about losing any data. For more information, request a demo or contact us today! 

Photo by Hello I'm Nik 🇬🇧 on Unsplash

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