Data migration is a nightmare. There, I said it. It’s a nightmare for everyone. Big lists of data require scrubbing from the users who entered it, from management determining what is important and what can be tossed aside, and from your system administrator to ensure consistency. If you’ve been working with your old database for a long time, this process can take weeks or more. Turning years of jumbled data into a pristine list of records ready for import takes a lot of hard work. Can’t this process be any easier? How do you turn the nightmare into a manageable process?
I have bad news and I have good news. The bad news is that there’s no quick fix to data migration. I don’t have a magic wand to wave and make all the columns line up and duplicates disappear and state names all using standard USPS conventions. The good news, though, is that Excel is your friend. Using the sorting feature can help you break the data down into manageable chunks, VLookup (a personal favorite) can quickly replace values, and there’s a nifty tool that even lets you highlight duplicates. There are tons of tips and tricks that can help you clean up your data and the team at Cloud for Good has done a stellar job compiling some of the best ones. Check out their post Preparing for Your Data Import: Some Useful Excel Tips and Tricks. Happy scrubbing!
-Jared and the Salesforce Guys