Five things you should know about Salesforce best practices for data migration:

  1. E-commerce companies require a Salesforce data integration strategy to ensure their teams always have access to the latest data.
  2. E-commerce retailers that don’t use Salesforce best practices for data migration could risk data quality and data governance issues.
  3. There are various ways to integrate data with Salesforce, including Salesforce Data Loader, Salesforce APIs, and third-party tools.
  4. Third-party tools can move data to and from Salesforce without lots of code or data engineering. 
  5. Integrate.io is a solution built for e-commerce that can optimize Salesforce best practices for data migration.

Migrating data into or out of Salesforce is a time-consuming, but necessary task. However, data migration is a challenge for any e-commerce enterprise. There are both organizational and technical challenges that you need to manage and overcome to ensure a smooth Salesforce integration process. This post helps you develop your data migration strategy for Salesforce.

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Integrate.io is a new Salesforce data integration solution for e-commerce. It removes all of the jargon and pain points that typically come with moving data to and from Salesforce, helping you operationalize and analyze the e-commerce information you need. Email hello@Integrate.io to learn more about Salesforce's best practices for data migration. 

Read more: How to Share Records Using Salesforce to Salesforce Integration

Why You Should Care About Salesforce Data Migration

Why pay attention to the Salesforce data migration process? It’s simple: bad data leads to bad outcomes for your e-commerce business. Data can become misaligned or outdated in an enterprise for a number of reasons:

  • Large companies often have databases managed by disparate parts of the organization, resulting in data silos
  • Acquisitions mean databases with data organized differently need to synchronize with existing Salesforce data
  • Legacy systems, either old in-house systems or those acquired via acquisitions, might not communicate with the latest APIs and/or contain unnecessary data for Salesforce migration

E-commerce companies need a Salesforce data migration strategy to ensure their sales and marketing teams always have access to the best possible data to achieve business objectives. 

Salesforce Best Practices for Data Migration

The goal of data migration is simple: To keep data stored in a centralized location up-to-date, or to keep data in multiple locations synchronized. Here are some Salesforce best practices for data migration: 

1) Establish a Data Governance Plan

One of the most important Salesforce best practices for data migration is obvious: Create and commit to a data governance plan. Data governance is critical because of the large penalties associated with non-complying with legislation such as GDPR

Your organization must have a clear process so that all stakeholders are on the same page about data migration and the laws that govern this process. The plan can be a part of an enterprise-wide data management initiative or it can be a simple agreement between the groups responsible for Salesforce and the system being integrated. 

Read more: Offshoring Alternative for Salesforce Integration

2) Make Sure You Organize Data

Another one of the most important Salesforce best practices for data migration is to focus on data quality. The essential first step is to have a data governance process that focuses on ensuring clean source data. Many e-commerce companies do need custom fields, but every custom field should go through a rigorous vetting process to explain what the field is, how it will be used, and a definition that distinguishes “good” and “bad” data. 

Administrators will use this information to create validation rules, pick lists, and field dependences to enable data mapping. Sometimes, validation rules and pick lists aren’t enough to ensure quality data for a field. In that case, audit the field by running regular reports to check for junk data. Data cleanup and organization isn’t a one-time project, ensuring data quality is a continuous process. 

With improved data quality, you can generate more actionable insights about your e-commerce operations and use this data to grow your business. The most successful data-driven organizations run high-quality data through business intelligence (BI) tools for real-time insights into sales, marketing, customer service, inventory processes, warehouse management, and other e-commerce functions.

3) Start With a Pilot Project

In most e-commerce organizations, the Salesforce CRM system is the new system. Because of Salesforce’s flexible data structure, this can conflict with existing systems with inflexible data governance processes. This can cause tension between business units. A useful approach is to start with a simple pilot project that shows how the CRM system can perform easy data import. 

For instance, perhaps there is useful sales data in an older, less flexible database where it’s hard to extract value from that information. Even just using default data settings in Salesforce, you can filter out garbage data and accept weird legacy formats (among other tricks) to bring that legacy data into the Salesforce CRM database. From there, Salesforce reporting can be used to extract trends and perhaps even identify purchase behavior. Alternatively, you can move Salesforce data to a data warehouse or lake and run that data through BI tools for even deeper data insights about your e-commerce operations. 

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4) Salesforce Best Practices for Data Migration: Closely Monitor Your Integration

Most data migrations and integrations are ongoing, not one-time, projects. Constant monitoring is required to ensure data conforms to the standard. An integration tool is the best way to do this. It will identify data issues and send alerts (often via email) to alert process owners of issues with the data. Another method is to regularly run exception reports to find data that doesn’t conform to the standard.

Each method has flaws. Alerts can create false alarms that cause monitoring fatigue. Reports are only as good as the people running them and evaluating the results. One idea is to use a good integration tool and have the integration written by someone who completely understands the tool. Alerts are more likely to be taken seriously because they’ll be more accurate.

5) Consider Third-Party Data Integration Tools

The best technology can’t make up for a poor integration plan. Without a strong process, data integration using a company’s data model will never be as effective as possible. On the other hand, a good integration plan can fall short with weak technology.

A tool like Integrate.io can provide a great integration experience between your Salesforce implementation and your other key systems because it is built for e-commerce companies like yours. It comes with the following features that can help you achieve Salesforce best practices for data migration:

  • Out-of-the-box connectors for Salesforce that require no-code/low code
  • Drag-and-drop tools that build data pipelines and cleanse and check data
  • Tools that ensure your data complies with data governance regulations
  • Fully configurable pipelines enable alerts for bad data
  • Secure integration of processes behind your firewall using a cloud service like Salesforce

Integrate.io helps you achieve these Salesforce best practices for data migration with its platform built for e-commerce. This integration tool can move data between sources via ETL, ELT, ReverseETL, and super-fast CDC without lots of complicated code or data engineering. Email hello@integrate.io to learn more about Salesforce's best practices for data migration.

 

3 Strategies To Guide Salesforce Best Practices for Data Migration 

Now that you have a solid foundation of Salesforce best practices for data migration, how do you turn those ideas into reality? There are three general methods to exchange data between Salesforce and internal and external systems:

  • Use Salesforce tools
  • Employ Salesforce API
  • Choose a Third-Party Integration Tool

There’s no single “right” solution. In fact, many organizations use multiple solutions to accomplish their data migration needs.

Read more: Why You Should ETL Your Salesforce Data

1) Use Salesforce Tools

Salesforce’s Data Loader can load data from external systems into Salesforce. An administrator or skilled user can use these capabilities to create an integration pipeline without writing any code. 

Data Loader relies on a process called Extract, Transform, and Load, or ETL:

  1. Data Loader extracts data from its original source.
  2. It transforms the data into the correct format for Salesforce.
  3. It loads data into Salesforce. 

Now you can use Salesforce as the centralized hub for all the data in your e-commerce organization and use Salesforce’s analytical tools to generate insights about processes such as customer service. 

It’s a simple approach but takes a lot of manual effort. During the data load, careful oversight is required to spot bad data and formatting issues. Even so, it’s a great way to begin integrating a new Salesforce implementation into an e-commerce organization. The prototype integrations can be coded later or implemented using a third-party tool

2) Employ the Salesforce API 

Many programmers in e-commerce organizations use Salesforce’s application programming interface (API) to upload and download data. 

These programmers use Salesforce’s proprietary Salesforce Object Query Language (SOQL) to retrieve data from Salesforce. Programmers can also write code to insert or update standard or custom Salesforce objects.

The Salesforce API is extremely flexible and powerful but requires programming. Every integration using the API requires developmental resources and an integration specification. Like any development project, there are risks and costs. 

API benefits include:

  • Reduces data entry needs and saves time
  • Minimizes human error
  • Automates the movement of data between two different apps 
  • Eliminates or decreases the time-intensive need to manually run a report and export the results

3) Choose a Third-Party Integration Tool to Achieve Salesforce Best Practices for Data Migration

Third-party tools occupy the middle ground between a manual approach and writing your own code. These tools can be as simple as a one-way extraction program, or as complex as a tool that has its own programming language. 

A good third-party tool for e-commerce data will include many of these features to help you achieve Salesforce best practices for data migration:

  • Data cleansing and verification technology to make sure the data being transferred in the integration is not corrupt.
  • Allow scheduling and process automation so manual intervention is for exceptions, not the norm. 
  • A wide variety of data targets, including most of the popular cloud data warehouse platforms, relational databases, and the widely-available REST API. 
  • Bi-directional: it can read from and write to your Salesforce instance.

Third-party data integration tools typically work in a similar way to Salesforce Data Loader. They extract e-commerce data from sources, transform that data into the correct format, and load the data into Salesforce. However, third-party tools typically connect to more sources than Data Loader, allowing you to integrate additional data sets without lots of complicated coding. Many tools also use alternative data integration methods to ETL, such as Extract, Load, and Transfer (ELT), which is better suited to moving unstructured data to Salesforce. 

Another benefit of third-party tools is that they can transfer data from Salesforce to another system for even deeper analytics. In this scenario, Salesforce serves as the data source and a data warehouse or lake becomes the target system. 

The drawbacks of third-party integrations are cost, vendor stability, and the possibility that the integration tool may lack the capability necessary to fully implement the integration.

How Integrate.io Can Help With Salesforce Best Practices for Data Migration

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Integrate.io is a new solution for e-commerce that helps you achieve Salesforce best practices for data migration. It can integrate with almost any modern tool, including data warehouses, relational databases, transactional databases, social media platforms, and SaaS tools. 

Salesforce integration on Integrate.io is bi-directional, meaning it can read from and write to standard or custom Salesforce objects. You can transfer Salesforce data to a warehouse-like Snowflake or Microsoft Azure, for example, and run data through a BI tool such as Tableau or Looker for even deeper data insights.The platform uses a drag-and-drop interface that lets non-developers build data pipelines between systems without writing code. Integrate.io can also integrate data via ReverseETL and super-fast Change Data Capture (CDC). Other features include excellent customer service, simple pricing, and enhanced security.  

Integrate.io is a new data integration platform for e-commerce retailers that use Salesforce. Now you can move data to and from Salesforce in a low-code/no-code environment. Schedule an intro call or email hello@Integrate.io to learn more about Salesforce best practices for data migration.