Download Informatica Data Migration Guidebook PDF

TitleInformatica Data Migration Guidebook
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Companies use Informatica to make data migration projects more
standardized, repeatable, and consistent. Whether they are rationalizing,
integrating, upgrading, or migrating to enterprise applications, teams can
reduce project risk and cost and improve project predictability with

As companies look to leverage CRM, ERP, and BI applications to improve
productivity and deliver value, much depends on the accessibility and fidelity of the
data that is within these applications. Most projects involve data extraction,
loading, and validation phases, but the importance of properly migrating data from
various databases and applications is often underemphasized in application
deployment, rationalization, and integration projects. Project teams often rely on
manual and inconsistent tools and practices when migrating data, which results in
– at best – unpredictable and labor-intensive project schedules and – at worst –
projects that fail to deliver.

Poor data migration, integration, and quality are common factors in failed or
delayed enterprise application projects.

Companies have two choices when data migration problems impact a project: delay
the project’s delivery or reduce its scope. While delaying a project can have a
short-term impact on company performance and IT’s credibility, reducing the
number or quality of data sources to be included has a permanent negative impact
on the effectiveness of the application and the bottom line.

Informatica provides data integration and quality software and services that
enables companies to better manage data integration, migration, and quality.
Components include:

Informatica PowerExchange, which enables the access, discovery, and
integration data from a broad variety of applications, platforms, and databases.
The solution is capable of accessing a broad variety of data types, including
content from relational databases, semistructured data, and unstructured data.

Informatica PowerCenter, which enables users to create data migration
mappings for extracting, converting, and filtering data, in either batch or real
time, using a graphical user interface. It supports a number of different
applications and data formats and enables data migration without intermediary
staging of data.

Informatica Data Explorer and Informatica Data Quality provide tools for data
analysis, standardization, and mapping. Data analysis tools enable
identification, categorization, and quantification of low quality data. Data
cleansing and parsing capabilities enable the cleansing, standardization,
validation, enhancement, and enrichment of enterprise data, including
customer, product, financial, inventory, and asset data. Data matching
enables the de-duplication of records prior to a consolidation process.

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January 2008 Document H99

“I’ve done a few internal surveys about Informatica. People generally said
they were able to work faster because of the graphical front end. Some people
said productivity improved by as much as 50 percent.”

“Using Informatica meant there was no hand coding of mappings for
developers. This shortened the project cycle time by about 50 percent.”

“Using Informatica, I can take on more work with the same headcount.”
“Because of data mapping in Informatica, and the fact that you can reuse the

mappings, the data migrations are faster and stay off the critical path of the
project it is part of.”

“It’s a very visual solution. And it requires a lot less coding. This makes
development easier, and it’s easier to identify and fix programs.”

Nucleus found that using Informatica to improve productivity for data migration led
to project cycle time reductions of up to 50 percent.

Keep everyone aligned on data objectives throughout the project
Because Informatica provides readily understood visual description of data flows,
companies should use it to support conversations, collaboration, and greater
alignment between IT and the business analysts who help define the end users’
business requirements. Most of the customers Nucleus analyzed used Informatica-
based data mappings as the basis for prototyping, as well as for conversations
among project team members, business analysts, and other non-IT project
stakeholders. Collaboration like this enables IT to establish, display, and fine tune
its understanding of business requirements in a project. And because the
collaboration is based on graphic depictions of data sets, applications, workflows
with minimal technical language or jargon, it minimizes misunderstandings that can
result in project rework.

ROI tip: Reduce rework by using Informatica’s graphical depictions of data
mappings to ensure alignment between IT and business analysts, so that end users
get the project deliverables they want.

IT staff, business analysts, and project stakeholders benefited because Informatica
enables collaboration in a number of ways:

“The mappings are very straightforward. It’s easy to show, even to a non-
technical person, the data mappings from source to destination. We often use
it to confirm and fine tune business requirements.”

“There’s increased confidence between the functional user and the developer,
because you can see what mappings were selected and easily see what was

Explore data migration issues early and often
Giving IT the support it needs for data migration is about more than rapidly
developing code or moving data from their sources to their destinations — it’s also
about maximizing both the scope and usability of data in a project. Typically, IT
projects that involve large volumes of complex data sets run into problems in the
testing and deployment stages because teams spent too much time on tactical,
labor-intensive tasks such as hand coding data mappings and not enough time
analyzing the data and maximizing its quality and usability. The Informatica

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January 2008 Document H99

customers Nucleus analyzed said that using Informatica helped them minimize
project disruptions caused by data problems, and to keep data projects off of the
critical paths of the projects they were supporting. Informatica users take
advantage of better data usage by reducing rework, testing, and project cycle

“Informatica does validity checking on the data. It’s the place where we first
find the errors. It’s better to find data problems this early in the process, other
wise you have to handle the items one-by-one when they are in the
transactional system, which is a lot more expensive.”

“Informatica shortens our project cycle times by about 30 percent because you
are getting a closer look at the data earlier in the project. This means there is
less debugging, rework and finger pointing later on because of problematic
data in the application.”

“There were gains around testing. You’re not writing code, therefore you’re
not making coding errors, which are really hard to find and fix. It’s not coding,
there’s more point, click, drag, drop, and less opportunities for error.”

A company that will save $8 million a year by combining account records and
accelerating accounts collection will lose $400,000 annually if just 5 percent of the
intended data is removed from the project due to data migration problems.

Increase project ROI by decreasing project risk
Improved productivity, better data migration, and accelerated delivery of projects
that meet the original requirements of business users all add up to higher ROI.
This is because projects that require the migration of large amounts of data are
typically subsets of larger projects that have important cost reduction objectives
and involve strategically important data sets or enterprise applications.

Nucleus found that the typical Informatica user was able to improve application
deployment, upgrade and consolidation project cycle times by improving the
quality of data and preventing data migration problems from disrupting the critical
paths of their projects.

When it comes to projects with this scale and potential for cost reduction,
accelerating project completion by even several months would result in ROI far
greater than the productivity benefits for IT project team members. Companies
used Informatica to achieve higher ROI in a number of ways:

“We used Informatica to consolidate from 6 billing systems to just one. So
there was a huge ROI benefit. Because we used Informatica, the data
migrations were kept off the critical path, there was no descoping of the
project, and we delivered it a lot faster.”

“Informatica helped us more rapidly migrate away from 20 legacy finance
applications. The annual maintenance that we’ll eliminate is in the hundreds of
millions. I don’t know the hard numbers but there is lots of ROI.”

“We originally brought in Informatica as a standard ETL tool for an SAP
migration project. Since then we’ve used it to retire 65 legacy applications and
created interfaces with another 60.”

“We use Informatica’s impact analysis to identify what data extracts will be
impacted by a given change to source data. So you can estimate the scale of

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January 2008 Document H99

work needed. This is important – we plan our resources better, which leads to
projects being on time, on scope, and on budget.”

If a telecommunications company is rationalizing its billing systems in order to
eliminate $5 million in annual support costs of redundant systems, accelerating this
project by six months with Informatica will save $2.5 million.

Update the role of data migration in your cost structure
In the case of projects that require extensive data migration, companies should
look to Informatica tools to significantly reduce the cost of completing these labor-
intensive tasks. Automation of data mapping — as well as data integration and
analysis — increases the productivity of architects, developers, testers, and project
managers. Additionally, improved quality of mappings, migrations, and data make
projects less unpredictable. Companies should be careful to take advantage of
these benefits by improving their project scoping and shifting towards fixed-cost
budgeting for their projects.

Companies using Informatica should be careful to reevaluate the costs of their
projects and collaborate with consultants on reducing costs:

“Our consultants saw the benefit of using Informatica. We have a complicated
outsourcing arrangement, and we negotiated for the cost of the project to be
reduced by the cost of our Informatica licenses.”

“Once you’re using Informatica, make sure its benefits are built into the pricing
of your consultants’ proposals.”

Informatica changes the role of data migration from being a low-level tactical task
to a function that can improve the scale, benefits, deliverables, and cost structure
of the IT initiatives that data migration projects support. Nucleus found that
customers followed a number of best practices that enabled them to maximize both
the scale of benefits from Informatica and the breadth of IT staff and projects that
achieve them.

Anticipate reuse opportunities
Reuse of data logic and rules created in Informatica results in significant
productivity benefits. But this doesn’t happen automatically, because the creation
of productivity-improving reusable assets involves a tradeoff. The larger the core
functionality a reusable asset has, the less customization will be required for reuse.
On the other hand, the smaller the core functionality an asset has, the more
broadly it can be reused. IT staff should resolve this tradeoff at the outset of a
project by analyzing its data sources and destinations in order to anticipate what
kinds of data rules, logic, and mappings will be required. As assets are created,
they should be set aside for reuse on a selective basis, so that the minimum
number of reusable assets can accomplish the maximum number of tasks
anticipated for that project. Once reuse is underway, these assets should be
continually refined and improved.

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January 2008 Document H99

As projects proceed, teams should take advantage of Informatica by pursuing an
aggressively iterative approach. Creating reusable mappings without custom code
means that it’s easier to repeatedly convert and test data in order to continually
improve the quality of the final deliverable of a migration project and reduce
project risk.

End users had a number of best practices to both enhance reuse and minimize the
amount of customization required when reusing mappings:

“We’re using Informatica for a 2-year project. We’re reusing the same
mappings and rules from the beginning. We refine them, so they just get
stronger and stronger as the project proceeds.”

“We minimize the amount of time creating code so that more time is spent
analyzing, understanding, and defining the data being migrated.”

Aim for consistent adoption
The more broadly and consistently Informatica is adopted, the easier it will be to
manage for reuse of mappings and rules, maximize the benefit of improved
productivity, and earn ROI on an investment in Informatica. Broad and consistent
use of Informatica also has tactical benefits, since consistency of adoption enables
people to work on a broader variety of projects, exchange source code with one
another, and collaborate more effectively. Companies that maximized ROI through
broad adoption had applied a number of approaches:

“If you have lots of different applications, databases, and platforms, but you
adopt Informatica narrowly, you’re leaving some benefits on the table.”

“Consistency is really important. Without Informatica, forty developers map
data forty different ways. If they’re all on Informatica, there is a consistency
in data transfer that leads to quality improvement for the overall project.”

“Before Informatica, I had my own library of programs I’d use. But someone
couldn’t look at my code or work in progress and know what I was doing. This
is no longer the case.”

“Initially we adopted Informatica on a project-by-project basis. But then we
broadened it out. First on a line-of-business basis, then departmentally.”

Champion adoption
Because Informatica is a visual-based development platform and its value relies in
part on reuse of mappings and the automation of cleansing and matching, its
adoption is sometimes resisted because IT staff tend to be far more comfortable
with developing their own code from the ground up. Whether resistance is
overcome with a mandate, a center of excellence, or championing, customers that
Nucleus analyzed tended to maximize ROI if they were proactively managing the
cultural shift that Informatica can cause:

“The person who implemented Informatica also champions it, and it benefits
from a strong internal owner. Project teams often have imperfect knowledge,
so it’s good to have one person spreading the right word. He spends about 40
percent of his time championing and 60 percent on projects.”

“There is a cultural shift involved. It doesn’t work to just give Informatica to a
developer who spends 80 percent of his time in Java. So we use a center of
excellence approach. It has 14 people who spend 80 percent of their time in
Informatica. This is how we propagate adoption.”

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January 2008 Document H99

“We have management policies in place stating that Informatica is now
standard. Not everyone adopts. So you have to force the adoption while
telling them they they’ll get out of spaghetti programming if they adopt.”

Separate your projects from your vendors
In addition to being a vendor-independent platform, Informatica tools are
completely interoperable with — and indifferent to — the broad variety of platforms
it can encounter as sources and destinations of data. As a result, the platform has
the effect of decoupling applications from one another.

Informatica’s platform-independent nature also enables companies to decouple
their enterprise application project objectives and resources from the vendors they
purchase software from. In particular, many of the Informatica customers that
Nucleus analyzed used the application for SAP data migration projects. Since
people who are proficient in ABAP, SAP’s proprietary development language, are
both hard to find and relatively expensive, accomplishing data migration with an
SAP-independent approach resulted in cost savings. Vendor independence and
application decoupling resulted in a variety of benefits:

“Once all your connections are set up in Informatica, whether in, Teradata,
SAP, or whatever, you don’t care what the data sources were. But without
Informatica, you’d need to know a lot more about Teradata or SAP.”

“Instead of doing data migration in ABAP, we do it in Informatica.”
“With Informatica, we went from being tactical to being strategic. You don’t

care about the source or destination application or platform, so there is a
decoupling benefit. We are now well positioned to offer a generic integration
service to the company as a whole.”

Use migration to get more value from your data
Most companies that have adopted enterprise applications such as CRM, BI, and
performance management have been disappointed with their rates of adoption. But
better data migration can be used to improve the ability of knowledge workers to
access data through these applications. While companies may initially adopt
Informatica for a specific migration-intensive project, users should look for
opportunities to also use it to extend the value of existing applications and
databases. This can be done by using migration to make the functionality of these
applications available in more ways, over more platforms, and to more users. This
will increase the ROI on not only Informatica, but also the enterprise applications
that are being enhanced. End users used Informatica to extend the value of these
applications in several ways:

“We’re using Informatica as part of our BI architecture, and mainly around
customer account data. We analyze churn, segmentation, and the levels of
balances. We also use it to improve our credit analysis and collections.”

“We’re using Informatica to create a real-time feed from our CRM system to a
mobile workforce solution. So the 3,000 technicians out in the field in vans
know where their next install is.”

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January 2008 Document H99

Informatica enables the creation, use, and reuse of data migration assets. Because
the emphasis on reuse can be fundamentally different than relying on traditional
migration practices, end users should treat it as such. Nucleus found that
companies were most successful when they realized the distinct differences and
competencies of Informatica and avoided a few common missteps.

Don’t be afraid of scale and complexity
Informatica users can maximize benefits by aggressively taking on projects with
enterprise-level speed, scale, and complexity. The benefit here is in breadth. The
more end users, applications, knowledge workers, and customers that benefit from
an Informatica-enabled project, the higher will be the ROI.

End users provided a number of ways in which Informatica generated ROI in
projects with scale and complexity:

“I had overall responsibility for a project that migrated us from six billing
systems to Hanson Utility Billing. I used Informatica, and data migration was
key to the success of the project.”

“We’ve expanded from batch processing of Informatica-migrated CRM data to
real time. This is far more critical to our business and it’s a way to take the
ROI up a notch.”

“Informatica supports parallel processing, which means you can split data into
large chunks and run it at once - so execution is faster.”

Expect to find data problems
Because Informatica provides so much visibility into data — and especially data
quality — so early in a project, it enables quality improvement when data can be
most readily and inexpensively corrected. But this can have the unintended side
effect of bruising the egos of the departments and individuals who own data. This
can create both a backlash against the validity of Informatica analysis and hamper
championing and adoption. One user said, “Wherever you find data quality
problems, they’re found by Informatica. It looks like the messenger that should be
shot, or isn’t right. But it’s actually an early warning system.” Users should
prepare for this and be ready to make the case that the early discovery of data
problems reduces project timelines and increases productivity.

Don’t underestimate Informatica as a risk reducer
Many of the Informatica customers Nucleus analyzed indicated that Informatica
tools made their projects more predictable and manageable. Although IT leaders
are managers of projects and IT staff, they are also managers of risk, and many of
the projects they take on have a great deal of visibility and financial impact. When
data-related tasks are improperly supported, data can be the most volatile part of
a project. Project teams are often unable to test data or run it through an
application configuration until close to the end of the project timeline. This means
that if data hasn’t been properly migrated, or if there are data quality problems, it
can throw a project off its critical path close to the finish line. Companies should
not only look to Informatica to manage this project volatility, but also point to this
benefit when making a business case to justify its purchase.

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