Learn how to migrate data from one Technical Management System to another. This article describes some of the most common obstacles together with our recommendations to how you successfully move your data.
Migrating Data from one Technical Management System to another
Today most shipping companies are using a digital system for their technical management. Some companies use very basic Excel sheets and others are using advanced integrated software solutions.
Common for all shipping companies is that they want to protect and reuse the data when they are moving from one digital system to another. If possible, they want to raise the value of the data by a harmonization across the fleet and data cleansing.
Data migration is therefore a very important parameter and process when moving from one digital solution to another.
In this article, we will describe some of the most common obstacles when you are in a process of moving from one system to another, and we conclude the article with our general recommendations.
Ownership and Access to Data
The technical and economical challenge to extract data from an existing system.
First obvious assumption for most companies is that data belongs to them. They created the data in the first place, and they have recorded all the historic data required to improve business and stay compliant.
Although the shipping company owns the data it might be a challenge both technically and economically to extract the data from an existing system.
In some of the recent cloud environments you do not have direct access to data.
The access is only possible through the user interface, which is not developed for data extraction for migration purpose.
Often key elements and critical data ID’s are not extractable.
Some suppliers have contractual statements making it challenging to extract data from the system.
So, even if the shipping companies have created all data themselves; they are not allowed to use the data from the old system.
The Data Structure
Avoid spending too much time on building your data and ensure a logical data structure.
When shipping companies build data, we often see that they fall into one or more of the following pitfalls:
- Extensive freedom resulting in unstructured data
- Copy-pasting standard data
- Making data too complex
Extensive freedom resulting in unstructured data
If the users have too much freedom to use the various data containers in whatever way they want, the data often becomes unstructured.
Unlimited boundaries may seem attractive to the individual users, but it does not support a structured approach across the fleet.
Therefore, when it is time to move to another system a clear strategy for the migration process is important.
Copy pasting standard data
Some systems include built-in data. This can seem attractive if you are starting from scratch or at a very low data level.
You can relatively quickly build up some form of data structure and although it is not tailor made for you, it gives an easy start.
There is one thing to worry about if you want to change to another solution later: Who owns the original data? Are you allowed to bring the original data across to another system or are you stuck with your current system?
Making data too complex and time consuming
Some shipping companies are extremely ambitious and make the data too complex and thereby time consuming. If the data structure is very complex and there are no data exporting tools, it can be a challenge to extract and map data.
Ownership and Access to Data
Moving data from one system to another involve the following steps: