Anyone who tells you that it’s easy to transfer data from one system to another isn’t telling you the truth. Whether you are transferring data from an Excel spreadsheet, an In-House CRM system or an Energy-Specific CRM system then logic dictates that the process will be complex.
You are effectively taking data stored in one particular way and moving it into data tables which are structured completely differently. A careful process of mapping the data and filling in the blanks needs to take place in order for the transfer to be successful.
Here we look at the biggest challenges for managing these types of data projects:
The first important task is to take your existing data and map it into the relevant fields within the new system. There will be differences in naming conventions that will need to be understood. Also, it’s likely that some data might be missing from your data set. Where this is the case, additional data will need to be sourced to fill in the missing pieces.
Structuring your data:
This process is most difficult when moving data from Excel files. The beauty of Excel is you can create, write and structure your data however you want to. However, this level of freedom leads to huge inefficiencies in how the data is stored. For example, you may have crammed all of your data into a single sheet. The most efficient way of structuring data is to make your data tables as small as possible with data sets being linked from one sheet to another. A process of de-aggregating the data and building it back up needs to happen to get everything ready for import.
Making logical assumptions:
You may find in some instances that your data does not match the mandatory fields of the new CRM. There will never be a situation where you hold every facet of data for the CRM you are importing into. Where these examples occur, logic and consistency need to be used to make assumptions against your data. Normally this is enough for the data to operate correctly in your new system.
Prioritising your imports:
It might feel intimidating to move to a new CRM and you will likely have tens of thousands of data lines. However, you can take the pressure away from the project by prioritising core data for the initial import. Core data can be defined by data that has an immediate impact on your business. E.g. Live customers, live meters and commission statements for your current and previous financial year only. Any data that sits outside of this can either be stored locally (for auditing purposes) or can be loaded into your new CRM at a later date.
Profiling your data:
Trying to load ALL data within your first bulk import is a sizable challenge. You will have huge numbers of PDF documents and notes on accounts that go back a number of years. It’s prudent to split these out from your initial import. PDF documents, for example, can be loaded in by the team once they start using the system on an account by account basis. This will spread out the workload for bulk importing and allows your data set to be built up to 100% over a longer period, taking the pressure off the initial exercise.
Our UtilityClick team has plenty of experience when it comes to supporting data imports. We have gone through this process a large number of times with our clients and the imports have always been successful.
In brief with UtilityClick you have:
- A Software Company that not only understands data but understands the Energy Industry too.
- Plenty of experience in supporting the data import process.
- An understanding of the data structure required to efficiently represent your portfolio information.
- A friendly team that can guide you through the process every step of the way.
If you would like to see a demo of our system and understand more on how we can help you transfer your data to our system then feel free to get in touch and we’d be happy to show you around.