by Sandeep Acharya

A few weeks ago I wrote about your DATA, use it when you need it.  I am going to stick with the data theme for this post as well.

Having been in the staffing industry for over a decade, I have been involved in many staffing software implementations at customers all over the United States.  Almost everyone knows that moving from one software to another is going to be challenging, time-consuming, but also exciting (obviously there are reasons for the switch).  Everyone knows there will be training, parallel and then a live week in the software implementation process.  But very few people understand the data conversion, what is involved or how much it will cost.

The data conversion usually is the most difficult and time consuming piece of the whole project.  There are many things which a company should consider before starting a data conversion:

 1.)  Which pieces of data are the most critical to run your business?

  • Payroll and payroll taxes
  • Past invoices and accounts receivable
  • Contact information for your customers, contacts, applicants and employees
  • Messages or notes regarding discussions with your customers, contacts, applicants and employees

2.)  How much data do you need (last two years, five year or as long as your company has been in business)?

3.)  Will you have your current software available after the implementation of the new software?

  • This will help determine if you need all the data or can go back to the old software if needed
  • As more and more companies choose to go the ASP (hosted) route always ask your previous software vendor for a complete backup of your data before leaving

4.)  And probably the most important question: How much are you willing to $pend on the data conversion?

  • As software gets more sophisticated more data is being captured
  • Most staffing software has over 300 tables where this data is being captured.  Converting every piece of information isn’t practical or cost effective. 
  • Which leads me back to #1: Figure out what pieces of data are the most critical to your business

Once these questions are answered your team will be better prepared for the data conversion piece of your software implementation.

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