PEOPLESOFT DATA CONVERSION
Migrating from a legacy system to PeopleSoft can be challenging, especially when you are unfamiliar with the PeopleSoft applications. There are a number of technical and functional issues including requirements definition, resource allocation, data validation, data mapping and project management.
PeopleSoft Data Conversion Process
When converting data from a legacy system to a package like PeopleSoft or Lawson Software, we use a three-step approach: Legacy Evaluation, Data Mapping and Conversion. Keep in mind that data conversion is an iterative process. Often you will find that data did not convert properly and you will then need to investigate the reason, correct the data map and rerun the process. A detail to accuracy and patience are key factors when converting data.
Phase I – Legacy Data Evaluation & Mapping
The first step is to analyze the data in the existing system then map the data to the new system. Most packaged software products have processes available for bulk loading of data and a step-by-step process regarding how to load data. Therefore, data mapping typically consists of mapping to the batch load process format. Analyzing the data consists of the following:
- Verify that the field contains valid and accurate information.
- If the data contains coded information (example: department where the employee works verify that the code is in the correct format and contains valid data).
- Identify the target field where the data will migrate to.
- Define conversion rules for the field (example: hire date in the source system may not have the same format as the target system, and the data length in the source system most likely will have a different length than the new system).
Phase II – Preparation for Data Conversion
Once the conversion mapping is completed, it is time to convert the data to the load-process format. Typically, this consists of writing programs that convert the data to a batch load format provided by the vendor. The batch load process will migrate all of the data in the legacy system into the proper format to be used by the vendor’s load process. When converting the data, it is important that all of the data is validated and converted into the format to be used in the target system.
Phase III – Execute the Conversion Process
Now that the data is converted into the load-process format, it is time to execute the steps required to convert the data. Most package software vendors provide a step-by-step process for converting data, the reason being to have the application software validate that the data is accurate, both in format and content. Typically, the first step is to convert tables used for validation (example: company departments and valid job codes). The second step is to begin converting the application data (example, in a Human Resources system, to load employee data). Each step of the conversion process will generate a conversion report that will include a section showing conversion errors that need to be corrected before the next step is run.
Phase IV – Validate the Conversion Process
Just because the conversion has executed successfully, it is important for you to validate the data. This can be accomplished by executing reports that can be compared to the existing system (example: in a people system, department employee lists or counts that can be validated, payroll registers and other reports. In a financials application, executing and validating reports such as profit & loss statements, payables register, receivables reports and fixed asset depreciation reports will validate if the data is converted properly).