Are you ready to sign up for HomeKeeper, but are unsure what data migration method you want to use to get all of your data into HomeKeeper?
As you start to think about migrating your program information to a new system, look at where your data is currently stored. This will help you plan how to migrate your organization’s data. Some data might be stored in spreadsheets which can be uploaded, whereas other data might be stored in your paper files that have not been digitized yet (Eg. Children’s birth dates, lien positions of loans, etc.) and will need to be manually entered. With data to be manually entered, you will need to determine whether you will migrate the old data or only add new data moving forward.
Many of our users have had this question of how to migrate their data as they moved forward with HomeKeeper, so we put together some pros and cons for each migration method to help you decide which is best for your organization.
Manual Data Entry
With manual data entry, program staff will add data into HomeKeeper by manually typing the required data into the HomeKeeper fields using paper program files or excel files as references. This is the default way of adding data for our users. During the on-boarding process, HomeKeeper staff will train program staff on how to migrate their data manually by covering how to add properties, homeowners, funding sources, etc. This migration option is best for organizations with dedicated staff for data entry and fewer units (under 200).
- Staff will learn how all data in HomeKeeper relates through the data migration process.
- Program staff can easily deal with data import errors.
- Manual data entry can be time consuming.
- There is more of a possibility for human data error.
Importing data with spreadsheets
With this migration method, program staff will add data into HomeKeeper by uploading program spreadsheets using the Salesforce’s data import tools. Though on-boarding with HomeKeeper staff focuses on how to do manual entry, we have a few data import spreadsheets, which can assist staff with migration planning and formatting. This migration option is best for organizations with dedicated staff or volunteers for data entry, more than 200 units or multiple owners per home over time. If you are working with volunteers to do to the data entry, make sure that there is a staff person supervising the entry of data to correct for any errors. Using volunteers can be a great way to free up staff time and speed up the migration. Check out Habitat for Humanity Seattle King County’s experience with working with volunteers for data entry.
- Faster than adding data manually.
- Allows users to use existing program spreadsheets to import data into HomeKeeper.
- Salesforce is built for data migration through spreadsheets and has two great tools for migration: the Data Import Wizard and the Salesforce DataLoader.
- Staff will need to plan carefully how all their data in spreadsheets will relate in HomeKeeper to link all data correctly.
- All users fields will need to match with the naming conventions of HomeKeeper fields to ensure an easy import.
Hire a consultant to do the migration
If you are an organization that is dealing with migrating a very large program (500+ units) or is doing additional customization to HomeKeeper, hiring an outside consultant can be a great way to migrate your data quickly without dealing with any data migration headaches. If you are interested in working with a consultant to do data migration or customization, we can suggest a few good consultants our users have worked with in the past. Contact us here for more information.
- Less staff time will need to be devoted to data entry and more towards program-related activities
- Consultants often know tips and tricks to upload your data in a fast, efficient manner
- Database consultants can be costly and migration can often cost a few thousand dollars.
- Your data will need to be completely clean and labeled well when working with a consultant to best leverage the consultant’s time and your money.
When you decide to move forward with HomeKeeper, speak to our staff about your data migration hopes and goals and we can help assist you with finding a data migration plan that works best for your organization.