After you have chosen the Product Information Management (PIM) system you want to use, the next question, of course, is to ask “how do I prepare for migration?”
Migration is a big step. This is where you take all your data from its original sources and move it to its new, hopefully better, home. The legwork required can either set you up for success in the long run, or chaos from the outset.
Without a good plan, you might end up missing some key steps that will slow down your implementation process and cause frustration for everyone involved in the project. So, here is your guide to help you set the groundwork for a migration plan that works for you.
Follow these simple steps to get started and to prepare you, and your data for optimum PIM usage.
First things first, you have to locate all of your information and assets. We recommend getting everything together in a single space before moving it into the PIM, so that you can do some pre-emptive cleaning (you can read about garbage in, garbage out (GIGO) below).
Garbage in, garbage out (GIGO) is a real problem when it comes to data management. One of the primary goals of a PIM system is to provide you with a single, up to date source of truth for your product information. So if you start by putting bad information in, it is more likely that bad information will come out, which is not ideal. Once you have your data in one place you can start to eliminate problematic information.
Putting out-of-date information into the system without a plan of how to move forward is a risky business. Once the errors and the out-of-date information is put into the system, it is highly likely that something will make it through the cracks and find a way to mess things up for you.
So start afresh! Get irrelevant data and out-of-date information sorted before putting it into the system. You can always add information at a later stage if you have doubts.
However, if part of your plan is to sanitize the data in-platform, asking your PIM provider about how to handle information once it is inside the platform is crucial. Make sure you get a detailed demo and ask them how they would manage situations related to bulk editing or big modifications.
Once you have decided what stays and what goes, it is time to make a data plan. How will your information actually fit into the system you are migrating to?
At this stage things may start to seem overwhelming. There is a lot of information you have to consider and manage. Creating a ton of attributes and organizational structures is a lot at first, but trust us: companies that take their time and get super organized are the ones who will reap all the benefits of a PIM system.
Once you are confident that your data is ready, it is time to get down to the nitty gritty of finding smaller errors. A well-made PIM will reject certain types of 'dirty data' like duplicate identifiers and poorly formatted numbers (decimal vs integer). For example, try to sweep through your data to check the various points below.
So here at Plytix, we allow users to directly link products to files through spreadsheet imports. The user needs to have a direct link to the image which sometimes requires a certain format, especially when using something like OneDrive or Google Drive. It is common for each system to have their own nuances that need to be taken into consideration before your information enters the system.
Take a small chunk of your data and test it in the system. Doing a test like this can also be a good place to not only test your data’s compatibility with the system, but also the effectiveness of that data. You may need to make some small tweaks to make things work more efficiently.
Once you are ready to pull the trigger, make sure you have a your long-term plan clear. There are a few ways you can migrate to a system, and each depends on how big your team is and how much data you are working with. Here are a few migration scenarios:
And that is how you can successfully migrate your data into a Product Information Manager (PIM). Each platform should have a list of best practices or a success plan to get you on track, so make sure you open a dialog with your software provider. The foundation you set will ensure your success for the future and make your data management more efficient than ever!