Data Migration is Not That Difficult

Heather Fuller
Global Delivery Manager, 1218 Global HR Solutions

As a consultant, I am always asked by clients what they should be focusing on at the beginning of an Employee Central or Employee Central Payroll project. When I get this question, I usually smile, because you may already know the answer. You may have already asked that same question during the sales cycle, talked to other companies already using the EC and ECP solutions, or attended sessions under the bright lights of Las Vegas at SuccessConnect.

The answer I give every time is data, data, data….

Whether you have no existing, disparate or one human resources system of record, the idea of identifying what data is needed, ensuring the data is cleansed, creating the load templates and dealing with the results of the loads can be a daunting amount of work. This is one of the workstreams of a project that literally keeps team members “up at night.” However, I have seen the data loads and migration done very well by using the following tips:

Start Now

Start your data migration process right now. Even if you have not chosen a software or implementer, the sooner you start, the better. Identify your data sources and start to understand the data you will be migrating to your new system. You may add some custom fields during the requirements phase, but there is a large amount of data you can already assume you are migrating.

Own It

We, as consultants, can assist you in understanding the data migration process and provide you with tools, tips and templates, but you should have ultimate ownership of your data. I like to follow the “See one, Do one, Teach one” methodology and work closely with my clients on each load of data into the development and test environments. My goal is that you are doing your data loads with little assistance from me by the time we reach production migration.

Assemble a Team

The data migration and data load processes are very time-consuming especially during certain key phases of the project. In addition to getting started right away, assemble a team to assist you in the data migration process. This is very beneficial during the data validation phase, template validation prior to load, and validating data once loaded. I have personally been a one-person team completing this work and it was very difficult. It also puts the project at a higher risk. Regardless of your company size, it is important to engage as many stakeholders as possible to be part of the data migration team to ensure your success.

Data Integrity

Data cleansing and data integrity are likely ongoing processes for you. Data should always be reviewed prior to migration to a new system. Data that is not correct can cause errors on the data loads, especially if you have a lot of associations and data dependencies in your system. It is just not good practice to load data without reviewing it first.

Finally, the great news is that Employee Central continues to evolve. More logic is being built into the system that helps with the data migration and load process. You can set your system up to kick off business rules so that data is synced to the employee record upon upload, thus reducing the level of effort that you spend on the more detailed data load templates. This is a huge benefit for you and can save you a lot of time with file preparation and reduced data load errors.

If we can help you get your Data Migration process started, please contact any of us on the 1218 Global HR Solutions team, or email me directly. For more information, visit our website at

About Heather Fuller

As Global Delivery Manager, 1218 Global HR Solutions, Heather brings a wealth of talent and SAP SuccessFactors expertise to clients worldwide including SuccessFactors Certified Employee Central, Certified Succession, Instructional Design, Organization Change Management and Communication, and Nakisa Talent Management. Heather has led successful SAP HCM Full Life Cycle implementations in the US, China, Singapore and India. Other projects include Applicant Tracking integration, custom Compensation Module implementation, and quarterly and year-end Tax Project Management. She has expert-level instructional design and workforce education and training abilities with extensive hands-on experience. Heather excels in blueprinting and requirements gathering, testing, training, project and program management, system and post go-live support.

About 1218 Global HR Solutions

At 1218 Global HR Solutions, our sole focus is to assemble experienced teams with global, strategic, business operations and SAP SuccessFactors expertise in a variety of industries and HCM digital solutions. Our teams provide services to a variety of clients with differing size, complexity, diverse geographical locations, multiple dimensions of users, and organizational structure. Our SAP SuccessFactors professionals have unparalleled expertise in providing services across the spectrum of HCM from Core HR to Payroll to Talent. We are your solution finders!

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