In a comment on our first blog post, Mark Farrell raised an excellent point about data assumptions and their impact on the integration timeline. He started our list of best practices by pointing out that clear ownership of the master and transactional data is important. Here are some additional data readiness tasks that can shorten the integration timeline if they are undertaken before the deal closes:
- Make sure all data models and data dictionaries are up to date. This will make it easier to map data from your acquisition’s systems into your (target) systems.
- Spot check data quality in your target systems. If you notice a lot of duplicate records, missing fields, or fields used for purposes other than what is defined in the data model/dictionary, your data migration will be more difficult.
- Begin defining your detailed plan for data cleansing and migration early, and specify the tests you will perform to make sure the migration is successful. Establish clear business ownership/sign-off authority for the test results. Budget time into your data migration plan for several test data loads to minimize risk on the final cutover day.