Seven Tips to Make Your CMMS Software Migration a Success, Part 2: Data Clean Up


Last time, I shared the first two steps for planning and preparing for a CMMS software migration. In this post, I’ll continue with these seven steps by outlining how to clean up your data to ensure your project succeeds.

So far, you’ve assembled a migration team and you have a data file. What do you do next?

Step 3: Decide What Data You Want to Keep

After you’ve completed Step 2, you should have a file with your data. You might assume that you want all the data you’ve already got, and the next step is to import it into the new CMMS software. But that’s probably not the case.

If you’ve decided to migrate to new software, there’s usually a reason. And often it’s because key needs aren’t being met by your current system and your legacy data. Now is the time to review your data and make decisions about what you really need to keep.

Another option is to simply start fresh. We’ve had customers do this—their legacy data remained where it was, and they simply added assets, parts, and preventive maintenance schedules to the new system. Old work orders are left behind.

Seth’s company, however, needed to calculate their assets’ total cost of ownership. They exported 16 years of data from their old system, but they decided to only migrate the last five years of data. The old data was still accessible if they needed to look something up, but their business strategy really depended on more recent data. It was a compromise that worked for them.

Step 4: Map Out the Fields

Here’s where things get fun. Data fields aren’t necessarily the same from one system to another. So you need to map field names, sizes, types from one system to the other.

We recommend using your vendor’s services to help with this process. They know their software best. Use them.

Review the data you’ve decided to keep, then work with your vendor to determine the best way to map your old data to new fields, plus ensure those new fields work the way you think they should.

Step 5: Clean Up Your Old Data

Don’t underestimate the time it takes to clean up the data.

You may do this step before mapping fields, but sometimes customers need to understand what the data looks like in the new system before they find issues.

So how do you clean up your data? Take a close look at it. Things will pop up—outdated information, incorrectly formatted data, missing data. Now is the time to get your data in good shape. Clean data pays off in accurate reporting later.

So now you have a clean data file, and you’re finally ready to jump into the actual migration process. Next time, I’ll conclude this series with the final two steps.