We are now on the home straight for a data migration and I know, it feels good. However, how many times have you thought you were home, safe and dry and then something cropped up at the last minute to undermine that feeling. Well this could be the area that causes it. Let’s see you’ve now transformed your data and remarkably, you’re seeing no data error; so the next stage must be to create the ‘data load files’ ready for the actual load. Sound like plain sailing from now on, well not quite. For the data to load into the new LMS to be successful, it also needs to be loaded in the right order, otherwise ‘dependent data’ will not load when it is looking for validation in a Reference Table where the content has not been populated in advance.

Therefore, for an LMS the data sets need to be loaded in the following sequence:

1) Reference Information

2) SCORM files

3) Course Catalogues

4) Curricula and Certifications

5) Organisation structures

6) Users

7) Training Transcripts

8) Part-completed Courses – people will still be in the middle of their learning program when you are trying to migrate.

Loading the cleaned and transformed data in this order will minimise data load failures and you’d think that you were home and dry and in a way you are. Congratulations!

But and there is a but, even with the best process you need to check that everything you wanted to migrate across has indeed moved across which leads me to the final stage. The Audit Trail.

Throughout the whole process you need an audit trail that contains checks and balances to make sure that the actual records you initially identified to migrate to the new system have made it through the various stages and were in fact migrated. This is not just about the absolute number of records, but also the actual records chosen. It’s too easy to look at absolute numbers at the start and end of the process and think you have moved the right records across, when in fact a proportion of the records moved across are not the ones you initially selected. Again, having a system and process in place to automate and provide analysis and reporting at every stage of the process will make this audit easy to follow and help identify where the problem was first introduced.

So there you are, the whole data migration process mapped out for you. You’ve made it to the end and it wasn’t so bad was it? ….. but I can sense a slight tension headache building up…

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