Before embarking on any system replacement, define the data to convert. Resolve yourself and the management team that this is a required component of the system replacement before you go any further. The reason for the evaluation is the potential cost of and resources needed for data conversion. We have witnessed companies expending an enormous amount of resources, internal and external, analyzing system functionality to meet their precise requirements only to halt the process for fear of data conversion or the cost involved.
An excellent software tool for data conversion is EBI, Electronic Business Integration. EBI allows you to map the data to be converted without programming. The other upside and ROI to using EBI for data conversion is you now own a tool that can be used for many integration tasks throughout the organization. It is not often you can purchase one software application to be used for many processes. Read further to learn more about EBI.
Planning Data Conversion
Categorize the data to convert into: 1) must convert; and 2) would like to convert.
Remember, if possible, often times this is a great time to clean up feasible data files through manual data entry. Shocking yes, but in the long run perhaps better than converting data files you continue to struggle with. Remember the old saying GIGO: Garbage In, Garbage Out.
Consider the feasibility of retaining access to historical data through an existing system negating the conversion need
Present the data conversion plan to vendors at the outset of reviewing their system to understand their conversion methodology and get their experienced input.