Data Migration

5 Critical Elements to Consider Before Migrating Data to Salesforce

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If your organization is making the move to Salesforce migrating data is likely an item in your laundry list of tasks. Your organization’s legacy data contains key information required to make important business decisions.

To make optimal use of Salesforce CRM, it is crucial to ensure that all your key legacy data is imported into Salesforce. This goes for both new and legacy users of the platform. In this article we’ll list off 5 critical elements to consider before migrating data to Salesforce.

1. Clean Data

You need to make sure that any data that you import into Salesforce is clean. Make sure to cleanse your source file of any duplicates or mal-formatted data. For example. when loading contacts data, make sure the contact email is the right format, i.e. anything like john.doe@test is unacceptable, the right format would be For datetime values, make sure that the source format is ‘yyyy-mm-ddThh:mm:ssZ’ e.g. 2015-01-26T11:50:15Z.  

2. Order of Import

Make sure to plan out the data migration process in advance to figure out the order of importing data into Salesforce. For example, if you need to import both Accounts and Contacts, you will have to import all Accounts before you can start importing any Contacts. Order of import will be decided by factors like master-detail relationships, required/mandatory data, etc.

Also when importing data for objects which have lookups to themselves, you might have to import the same file twice. E.g. when importing products which have related products looking up to them you will have to import all products first without the lookup field data, then do another import on the same file to update the related products lookup.

3. Large Volume of Data

When importing large volume of data, e.g. 500,000 rows, a good practice to follow is to break down the source file into multiple files and import them separately instead of importing the file as a whole. Also, use ‘Bulk-API’ over Batch API when importing large volumes of data, this makes the import much faster.

4. Record Ownership

It is equally important to map the records to the right owners in Salesforce as it is to import the data itself. Make sure all users/record owners from the source data exist and are active in Salesforce. Use vlookup to map the source owner names to Salesforce User IDs.

5. Mapping Files

The Salesforce data loader gives you an option to save your field mappings as .SDL files. This is extremely helpful if you are planning to import data for the same object multiple times and a large number of columns need to be mapped. Reusing mapping files also helps avoid any manual errors when mapping fields.