Team looking over the data and data visualizations.
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Companies of all sizes and industries can benefit from having an internal data migration team with the requisite skills and resources to handle the process. This team is responsible for developing, executing and monitoring the data migration plan, but even beyond that, they also must identify potential problems, assess data security and quality throughout the process, and continue to monitor for new issues post-migration.

SEE: Data governance checklist for your organization (TechRepublic Premium)

For a data migration team to succeed, the roles within the team should be clearly defined, ideally with a dedicated project manager who oversees the entire process from start to finish. With a strong and structured data migration team, companies can easily tackle their transition.

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Who is responsible for data migration?

Although there may be many other stakeholders and users who are affected by the data migration process, an actual data migration team of data professionals is usually responsible for this critical process. A typical team might include the following individuals and groups:

The project manager or management team

This person or management team oversees the data migration process from start to finish. They lead and coordinate the efforts of all team members, manage risks and issues, and ensure the project is completed on time and within budget.

Data owners and stewards

These are individuals or groups within the organization with a vested interest in ensuring their data is migrated successfully. They understand the legacy system data design, existing data structures and business requirements. Data stewards may also provide critical information about where potential gaps or problems might occur during the migration process.

The functional team

This is a group of experts within the organization who are knowledgeable in the migrated data types, such as HR, finance or sales data. They work closely with the technical team to ensure that all data is accurately transferred and mapped correctly.

The technical team

This is a group of experts who are skilled in software development and data transfer, including programmers, developers or engineers. They often work closely with the functional team to resolve any potential technical issues quickly and effectively.

What skills are needed for data migration?

To be successful in a data migration project, team members must bring a range of skills and knowledge to the team. Some of the critical skills and competencies for data migration include:

  • Technical skills: Experience with software development, database management, cloud computing or AI technologies.
  • Project management skills: Experience with effective resource management, risk identification and management, and progress monitoring.
  • Data analysis skills: Experience with data assessments, matching data to new data structures, data modeling and data quality management.
  • Data security skills: Awareness of any potential security concerns and ability to implement data protection measures throughout the process.

SEE: Steps for performing a successful data migration (TechRepublic)

A solid data migration team with diverse skills and expertise is essential to transition from one system to another successfully. With the right team, companies can confidently tackle their data migration needs and achieve their business goals.

Data migration roles

Let’s now examine some typical data migration roles, what each role does and the skills or knowledge required to work in that role.

Data owners

As mentioned before, data owners are people or groups within a company who will be most affected by data migration and therefore have the strongest incentive to ensure it goes well.

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They are accountable for all data being migrated, and they understand the existing structure of the legacy system and the business requirements for any new data structures. You know them by their business titles, such as IT managers, HR directors or financial controllers.

Data migration specialists

Data migration specialists are in charge of managing the complex process of moving data between different systems and applications. This requires an exceptional skill set that demands specialization and expertise, including:

  • Intimate knowledge of database systems
  • High levels of accuracy and attention to detail
  • Problem-solving capabilities
  • Logical thinking
  • Excellent time management skills
  • Data protection acumen

They must also stay up-to-date with the latest technological developments.

Data migration analysts

The role of data migration analysts is integral to successful data migration processes. Data migration analysts are responsible for interpreting, analyzing and drawing meaningful conclusions from datasets, large and small.

Their expertise in developing and implementing data collection systems, databases, statistical packages and other data-driven strategies ensures that specific standards of efficiency and quality are maintained throughout the process.

Furthermore, they possess an understanding of models related to the field, such as:

Data migration experts

Data migration experts possess extensive skills and knowledge in all aspects of data migration, from the initial planning stages to post-migration operations. This can include any or all of the following:

  • Advanced understanding of database design and management
  • Experience working with large amounts of data in a variety of formats and structures
  • Expertise in programming languages such as SQL, Java and Python
  • Strong analytic skills and the ability to recognize patterns or trends in data

Program managers

Finally, data migration projects are typically overseen by program managers or project managers. Program managers are responsible for coordinating and facilitating the efforts of all stakeholders involved in the migration process. They often have expertise in business processes, project management and organizational dynamics.

To succeed, data migration teams must be well-rounded and have a combination of skills and knowledge to handle all data migration tasks effectively. With the right team, companies can succeed in their data migration efforts and achieve their business goals.

Read next: Top cloud and application migration tools (TechRepublic)