Koha How-To

It's All About the Relationship

Data migrations can be complex endeavors involving a variety of data types and sources, individuals and work processes. A successful data migration relies heavily on frequent communication and a strong relationship with your migration partners. It may appear on first glance that a data migration is linear and fixed. We move the data from disk A to disk B and the migration is complete, right? Well, data migrations tend to be much more cyclical in nature. The process between initial extraction and final loading is a complex process that repeats itself in the cycle of extraction, manipulation, testing, and loading. Think of it as "lather, rinse, and repeat".

A successful migration project relies on effective communication between the library partners and the migration specialist and is built upon a strong relationship of trust. Migration specialists have access and control over the data , which can be nerve wracking for the library. We feel this responsibility as well, because not only are we responsible to the libraries for our data work, but ultimately to the users and patrons of the library. Our role is to help you serve your patrons.

Like all other relationships, a migration relationship has a set of expectations associated with it. It’s important for the migration specialist to clarify what the migration entails and make the process transparent for you. The expectations, processes, procedures, and communication protocols should be clearly delineated during your initial meetings. If something is not clear, ask until you understand! You should feel comfortable with contacting your migration specialist via email, phone or ticketing system whenever you have a question. It’s our job to make sure you are comfortable with what is going on, understand what is happening and what we need from you. Open communication with your migration team can help to flesh out any special situations or ‚"quirky" data that needs to be addressed before your final data migration.

As a data migration specialist, I understand data and its relationships in the database and within Koha. But I rely on your expertise when it comes to discussing your internal processes and the nuances of your data. You are the expert of your data! By listening to you, I learn how to care for and respectfully migrate your data.


Read more by Joy Nelson