At some point, your company will want to migrate a large amount of data from one warehouse to another. More likely than not, everyone involved will see this project as a huge risk. Migrating data from one warehouse to another creates several opportunities for failure.

Read on to learn about 5 of the most common concerns and solutions regarding data warehouse migration.

Table of Contents:

1. Lapses in Security Could Put Data at Risk

2. You Could Migrate Inaccurate or Unwanted Data

3. Data Warehouse Migration May Take Longer Than Expected

4. Data Migration Could Cause Business Interruptions

5. You Could Lose Data During the Warehouse Migration Process

Overall Solution To Data Warehouse Migration

1. Lapses in Security Could Put Data at Risk

If you currently house all of your data in-house, then you have complete control over the security standards that prevent criminals from stealing sensitive information.

You have good reasons to worry about lapses in security that could put your data at risk. As recently as June 2019, a former Amazon employee used her systems engineering skills to hack into Capital One’s cloud data warehouse and steal the information of 106 million people.

Before choosing a cloud data warehouse, you need to make sure that it has the right security tools to protect your information.

Lapses in security can also happen during the migration process. As the data travels from one server to another, an innovative hacker could intervene to steal your information.

Solution: Encrypt Your Data During Migration

Encryption gives you one of the most robust protection from cybercriminals. Even if someone manages to view your data, the information won’t make any sense without the right key to view it.

Essentially, encryption creates a tunnel that stops eavesdroppers from looking at your data. For example, we have FLE (Field Level Encryption), which allows our users to encrypt and decrypt personal data. The tool that you use to encrypt data during migration will depend entirely on the cloud service provider that you choose. 

Look for a virtual private cloud (VPC) service that will mask your data en route to the new warehouse or a security feature like our FLE.

2. You Could Migrate Inaccurate or Unwanted Data

Your current data warehouse probably contains a lot of inaccurate or unwanted data that you would like to scrub before migrating anything to the new warehouse. If you let unwanted data travel to the next data warehouse, then your problems will follow you.

That could mean that you have inaccurate contacts, payment information, and research that makes it difficult for your business to reach its goals.

Solution: Use Data Cleansing to Remove Unwanted Information

No one likes to do data cleaning, but it’s a crucial part of making data more useful once you migrate it to a new warehouse. After checking data for corrupt, missing, inaccurate, or duplicate information, your company will benefit from:

  • Accurate insights and predictions into consumer behavior.
  • Higher productivity rates.
  • Higher revenues.
  • Happier customers that experience fewer frustrations.

Data cleaning takes quite a bit of time, but the results are worth it.

3. Data Warehouse Migration May Take Longer Than Expected

Research shows that about 80% of data migration projects exceed their timelines or budgets. In other words, you may not know how long your project will take.

Depending on how much data you need to transfer, data migration could take anywhere from a few hours to a week or longer. The more information you need to move, the longer you can expect the project to last.

Unfortunately, few companies will give you exact time estimates for your migration project. That could mean that your team ends up spending more time than you planned.

Solution: Monitor Data Migration to Catch Problems Early

Assuming that you have contemporary hardware that can transfer data quickly, your IT team can make migration happen faster by monitoring the data’s progress.

With Xplenty, you can monitor your data migration as quickly as 60 seconds. If something unexpected happens, someone from your team can diagnose and solve the problem before it slows down your migration project. 

For example, if someone sees that files are getting duplicated, you can investigate and solve the issue. Problems may arise, but at least you can remove them before they add hours to your wait time.

4. Data Migration Could Cause Business Interruptions

When data migrations take longer than expected, you could encounter business interruptions that cause short-term and long-term harm. In the short-term, you won’t have some of the information that you need to serve your customers and clients. In the long-term, you could lose unhappy clients to competitors.

Business interruption insurance might cover some of your lost revenue, but it cannot reform a tarnished reputation. If your data migration takes too long, you may lose some clients forever.

Solution: Maintain Your Old Data Warehouse for at Least One Month

Transferring data to a new warehouse doesn’t mean that you have to delete the old data immediately. Keeping a backup copy on your server will make it easier to transition to the new warehouse without interrupting your business.

Ideally, you should maintain data on your old server for at least one month. It will cost a little extra money, but it’s worth the peace of mind that you get by avoiding serious problems.

Keeping a copy of your data for at least one month will also give you an opportunity to test a new service. If you decide that you don’t like the services that you get from your new data warehouse, you can always transition back to the old one.

It’s a good idea to keep your options open when exploring new cloud data management services. A “test drive” can only tell you so much about your new service. It will take at least a month for you to decide whether the new data warehouse meets your expectations.

5. You Could Lose Data During Warehouse Migration Process

Losing data can ruin your business. That’s not an exaggeration. In 2017, Small Business Trends released an infographic showing that 58% of small to medium businesses (SMBs) aren’t prepared for data loss. The publication also shows that 60% of SMBs that lose data shut down within 6 months.

Data loss can force a business to close in a variety of ways. Some businesses fail because they lose access to the information that they need to reach potential clients. Some fail because existing clients start to question the company’s trustworthiness.

The bottom line is that no one wants to work with a business that doesn’t secure its data.

Solution: Maintain Your Old Server Until You Know the Migration Worked

Luckily, you have a simple solution to data loss. If you follow the above advice, then you already plan to keep your data stored on your old server for at least one month. Keeping the server active also means that you can find missing data for your new warehouse.

The good news is that you also have a long-term solution that cost little, or no, money. As long as you keep your old server, you don’t have to worry about losing the data you rely on. After a month, feel free to unplug the server or hard drive so it doesn’t waste energy. The information won’t go anywhere.

If you discover missing data in a few months, plug in your old server and withdraw the information you need.

Overall Solution: Find Tools That Help You Stay in Control of Your Data

A lot of data software tools claim that they can make data migration easy. Many of them work well, but you have to choose the one that integrates with other tools you already use to organize, store, and analyze your data.

Xplenty integrates with the world’s most popular databases, data storages, and analytics tools. Xplenty is a code-free, cloud-based ETL data solution. We provide a user-friendly drag-and-drop dashboard making Xplenty accessible to many parts of your data team. Some of the most helpful integrations for data migration include:

  • Google BigQuery
  • Google Cloud SQL for MySQL
  • Amazon Redshift
  • Microsoft SQL Server
  • Salesforce to Salesforce
  • MySQL
  • Microsoft Azure Blob Storage
  • HDFS
  • Snowflake 
  • Amazon S3

Conclusion

Since moving data to a new warehouse takes so much time and planning, you may want to consider an alternative. Changing your ETL solution, for instance, this may give you the benefits you need without forcing you to migrate your data. 

Any data migration project can cause headaches. Avoid potential problems by choosing an ETL solution that addresses your needs and makes it easier to manage data. Schedule a demo with Xplenty to get a 7-day free trial and learn more about what our data integration platform can do for you.