Migrating Data The XRF Digital Way

At XRF Digital, we find that one of the most common reasons for businesses, particularly smaller ones, putting off getting a new website is the thought of all the data that has been created over the years in their existing, yet outdated website.  The thought of losing all the information and the number of hours involved in getting all the information back and installed on the new website is just to bigger hurdle when there are so many other things within a business that need to be concentrated on. Again especially if the business is small and only a handful of staff.

How We Approach Data Migration

We understand how daunting it can be for a client when it comes to migrating their data across to a new website. However, we have years of experience and have been migrating data for our clients for years.

The key to migration is having a clear goal, agreeing on a mapping specification (where the data will sit within the new website) so that we can create coding to bring across the data and manipulate it to its rightful new home.

Our content team will scan through the data and will flag up any content they deem to be unessential and will create a list/check sheet. This will require input from you our client to assist with clarifying the content as required or not.

TIP: By creating a check sheet we have found this takes less time away from our clients busy working days.

Transferring current data to the new Website:

The most effective way of delivering a data migration program is to fully understand the data sources before starting to specify a migration scraper code. We carry out a profile and audit of all source data within the scope at an early stage by doing this we can –

  • Address potential problems that may remain hidden later in the migration.
  • The scraper will be based on a thorough analysis of all source data.

Early validation can help with choosing the right migration method.

In-depth knowledge of the sources to be migrated allows us to deliver a more accurate specification for transferring the data faster.

We validate the following key areas –

  • Relevance
  • Accuracy
  • Integrity
  • Consistency
  • Completeness
  • Validity
  • Timeliness
  • Accessibility
  • Compliance

By following the above measures we are able to efficiently and effectively bring across all the data into its rightful place reducing delays and wasted time.

The first phase of the data migration is to define what is achievable in terms of what the data sources will support and what is reasonable.

With the scope refined, we allow the migration into the timeline of the project.

Data migration projects are complex, seldom will all source data be required, so scoping needs to be approached firmly to filter out any surplus data, hence validation explained above.

Close consultation with you the client is required to help define data, this would be defined in the discovery phase of the project for the new website.

Our coders will then develop mapping specifications, write migration code, build data transformation and cleansing rules, and loading and test data.

Understanding The Data:

Once we have identified the core source tables/files, we look at the profiling and auditing tools to look at the data content so we can understand the data and identify exactly what needs to be migrated.  This allows us to detect possible conflicts, drilling down to a detailed level will resolve any issues and inconsistencies.

Developing the Mapping Specifications 

In the discovery phase of your project, we will discuss an agreed scope so we can develop a series of rules for transferring the existing data. This ensures that the data is accurately manipulated to fit the target source, in this case, the new website structure.

Before we are able to create the code, the mapping specification needs to be agreed upon on the new website so that data is accurately moved across.

Migration phases

At the discovery phase of your new website project, our coders will discuss whether a complete migration of data or a staggered migration of data is the best approach for you.

Data Migration Examples

Here are a couple of examples of completed projects where we have brought across data from an existing website to a new website as part of the client’s new website project.

Shakespeare’s England Project – Shakespeare’s England had an awful lot of existing information that needed to be brought across, following the method outlined within this blog, we were able to create a new website with a huge amount of new functionality, incorporating existing data from their old website.

E-commerce website Example Just Williams Toys had created a website within WIX, at the time of creating the WIX site they were keen to get an e-commerce website up and running adding a huge amount of products and descriptions.  The client had spent many hours inputting products and information so it was vital that the data would be migrated across to the new website.

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