What Is the Difference between Data Migration & Data Conversion?

by | Last updated Feb 13, 2024 | Published on Jun 21, 2019 | Document Conversion / Scanning Services

While handling business projects, you may need to migrate data from multiple databases into a single database, or from one CRM system to another. The terms data conversion and data migration are often confusing and are used interchangeably. Conversion is often the most important part of data migration-but both are different. While data conversion is the transformation of data from one format to another, data migration is the process of transferring data from a source system to a target system or from one technology to another. Data conversion service involves extracting data from the source, transforming it and loading the data to the target system whereas data migration involves data profiling, data cleansing, data validation, and the ongoing data quality assurance process in the target system.
What Is the Difference between Data Migration & Data Conversion?

Industries that are using such migration services include BFSI, Retail, Government, Defense, Healthcare, Manufacturing, IT and Telecom, Energy and Utilities as well as Media and entertainment among others. According to a report from Persistence Market Research, increasing business data volumes which can be attributed to rising adoption of the Internet of Things (IoT) and big data technologies across various industries are the key factors fuelling the growth of the data migration market.

What are the Processes Involved in Converting and Migrating Data

Conversion Process

Data Load and Review: Review and test the data being loaded into the new database or system for accuracy. Once the data has been validated it can be loaded and put into production.

The key steps of the conversion process include

  • Reviewing data
  • Identifying the source the data is coming from
  • Checking what important information is missing
  • Properly converting and translating the required data
  • Choosing the destination
  • Reviewing and validating data loaded into the new database

To avoid data conversion issues, it is recommended to –

  • Convert objects into printable character data types, including numeric data
  • For an object transformed into a binary data type, create an operating system-neutral format
  • Include sufficient header information in the transformed data type to correctly interpret the remainder of the encoded object

Migration Process

The migration process involves steps such as

  • General review of the database and the current implementation
  • Data mapping or thorough review of the tables and data to find potential data discrepancies or inconsistencies
  • Tracking which tables the data currently resides in
  • Identifying where the data needs to be migrated to
  • Transferring the migrated data from the original database to the new one
  • Testing the data and using it effectively

The challenges and risks associated with the migration process include data loss or missing data as well as compatibility issues in data transfer such as changed operating systems, unexpected file formats, or confusion over user access rights between the source and target systems. Poor execution of this process could impact the business and so it requires expert attention.

To avoid any migration issues –

  • Ensure that the data fields in your old database exist in the new database, before migrating data
  • Understand how both programs handle different types of file formats
  • Know whether or not any data fields will be merged during the process

To avoid any problems related to data management, businesses can also outsource data conversion tasks. Experienced data conversion companies can convert your unorganized data to a more suitable, easy-to-access format, thus making the migration to cloud or other databases easier.

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