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CRM Conversions - Data Migration

  • 1.  CRM Conversions - Data Migration

    Posted 09-21-2022 12:47 PM
    Good Afternoon,
    We are in the process of selecting a new Advancement CRM. One of the things on our list is what data do we bring over to our new system – should it be all or should we be removing certain information (i.e. payment schedules of full paid pledges, etc.). I wondered if anyone who has already embarked on this journey had what I would loosely refer to as a Data Migration Plan.
    Thank you for any assistance you can provide,
    Kathleen E. Stuber
    Assistant Vice President for Advancement Services
    Division of University Advancement
    University at Buffalo
    1010 Kimball Towers
    Buffalo, NY 14214

  • 2.  RE: CRM Conversions - Data Migration

    Posted 09-22-2022 08:36 AM
    Hi Kathy,
    It's a great time to start cleaning up old data, and I suggest you identify old pieces of information or codes that no longer mean anything, and which muddy your new coding structures and ease of use. I suggest that you either delete them in your current system or flag them as "Do not convert", depending on the scope of work you are planning with your vendor and implementation partner. In general, I would recommend sticking to data that can easily be removed completely and cleanly (things like an old attribute or old sub-appeal codes that are no longer needed for analysis). Once you start looking at taking apart pledge data that is linked to financial transactions, things can get messy and make it difficult for you to validate the transactional data during conversion. I'd be happy to talk through this with you further - feel free to email me directly.
    Good luck!

    Kate Mead
    JCA, Inc.

  • 3.  RE: CRM Conversions - Data Migration

    Posted 09-22-2022 09:01 AM
    Hi Kathy,

    We recently converted to a new CRM and did discard some really old data. Most of what we dumped was things like participation in committees that hadn't existed for 20 years or more or tracking that they did not attend an event a decade or more ago. In some cases we extracted the data to spreadsheets to archive it, but mostly it was clear that no one was going to look for this. We deleted some of the data from the legacy system but mostly we just excluded certain things from the crosswalks.

    Personally, I would do my best to convert everything contribution-related. In a previous conversion I worked on we did not map over all contribution and dues information and then ran into problems when the need arose to adjust old gifts or memberships.


    Lianna Bodzin
    Assistant Director of Advancement Services
    Colorado School of Mines

  • 4.  RE: CRM Conversions - Data Migration

    Posted 09-22-2022 09:09 AM

    Thanks so much Lianna, I appreciate your help,



  • 5.  RE: CRM Conversions - Data Migration

    Posted 09-22-2022 11:33 AM
    Hi Kathy,

    I led a migration and focused heavily on assessing the data in the previous system, deciding what to keep and what to shed, and more importantly, what to reconfigure via conversion. For us, the biggest lift was updating a legacy contributions data structure that didn't reflect current business practices. The conversion and mapping process allowed us to reconfigure it all with usability in mind (while accounting for pledge data as Kate mentioned). We also shed, moved, or rebuilt other data types - attributes, relationships, etc. It was a long process, but we gained a lot in terms of clarity and usability.  Rather than making a singular data migration plan, we spun up multiple planning docs, held lots of cross-functional user meetings, and adapted as needs arose along the way.

    I'd be happy to chat if you'd find it helpful,


    Jen Holmes
    Senior Director, Strategic Services