Changing the scope of Data Migration in PLMMay 29, 2015
Data migration has been a challenge for organizations since a long time. Every migration experience adds new flavor to our taste. With increase in sophistication and complexity of the PLM tools, the scope and dimension of data migration is also changing. Some of the traditional types of data migration includes –
- Data Migration during version upgrade of PLM tool
- Data Migration during change of PLM tool
- Data Migration during restructuring of the PLM process.
In all the above scenarios, the data is “Extracted” from a source system or a legacy system, Transformed as per the new system and then when the new system is ready, the data is loaded in the new system. Easy as it may sound but organizations have had nightmares with big migrations gone wrong. But this is one aspect. What if the source of the data itself is non-conventional? How do we extract the data?
The problem with non-conventional data?
All data these days are stored electronically somewhere – files, databases etc. Earlier these files were stored as hard copied. The drawings, specifications, charts and graphs were all hand drawn. All these data is lying aimlessly gathering dust at the shelf. The information in these files are strategically important for large manufacturing industries. Organizations have tried manual data entry for converting these file to their more manageable electronic counterparts and have had only partial success. Manual work is not possible for mainly three reasons – Huge volume of data, huge effort to validate the extracted data, Cost of the program.
Another challenge large manufacturers are facing is to organize data centrally and to decide the ownership of the data. The concept of one source for all information is gathering its own importance. In this scenario the data migration strategy becomes all the more critical.
The way ahead
As the problems in PLM are getting harder, the tools are getting smarter. Tools specialized in advanced data extraction are being developed. These tools are based on the logic of intelligent character recognition, natural language processing, etc. These tools have still not reached the maturity of plug and play and they all need a fair bit of manual intervention. But we can definitely hope the future to be bright as the technology progresses.