Top 5 Tips For Transferring Data

Transferring your data from one system to another is complex, sometimes incredibly so.

Anyone who tells you otherwise has presumably got a long wooden nose and a father called Geppetto.

Whether you are transferring data from an Excel spreadsheet or an intricate CRM system, logic dictates that the process will be fraught with complication.

You are taking data stored in a particular way and moving it into data tables that will be structured entirely differently to which they came.

Planning is vital here (as is a wealth of experience).

Data Mapping:

The first important task is to take your existing data and map it to the relevant fields within the new system. There will be naming convention differences that will need to be adhered to.

It’s also likely that some data will be missing from your data set. Where this is the case, additional data will need to be sourced to fill in the absent sections.

Structuring Your Data:

This process is complex when moving data from Excel. The beauty of a spreadsheet is it gives you the ability to write and structure your data however you want to. However, this freedom leads to huge inefficiencies in how the data is stored, especially if your data is crammed into a single sheet.

The most efficient way of structuring data is to make your data tables as small as possible with data sets being linked from one sheet to another. A process of de-aggregating the data and building it back up needs to occur to get everything ready for a clean import.

Making Logical Assumptions:

You may find in some instances that your data does not match the mandatory fields of the new CRM. There will never be a situation where you hold every facet of data for the CRM you are importing into. Where these examples occur, logic and consistency need to be used to make assumptions against your data. Normally this is enough for the data to operate correctly in your new system but it requires oversight of what makes good data assumptions.

Prioritising Your Imports:

It might feel intimidating to move to a new CRM and you will likely have tens of thousands of data lines. However, you can take the pressure away from the project by prioritising core data for the initial import.

Core data can be defined by data that has an immediate impact on your business. E.g. Live customers, live meters and commission statements for your current and previous financial year only. Any data that sits outside of this can either be stored locally (for auditing purposes) or can be loaded into your new CRM at a later date.

Profiling Your Data:

Trying to load ALL data within your first bulk import is a sizable challenge. You will likely have huge numbers of PDF documents and notes on accounts that go back a number of years. It’s prudent to split these out from your initial import.

PDF documents, for example, can be loaded in by the team once they start using the system on an account by account basis. This will spread out the workload for bulk importing and allows your data set to be built up to 100% over a more manageable period, taking the pressure off the initial exercise.

Our UtilityClick team has plenty of experience when it comes to supporting data imports. We have gone through this process a number of times with our clients and the imports have always been successful.

In brief with UtilityClick you have:

A Double Threat

A Software Company that not only understands data but understands the Energy Industry too.

Unprecedented Knowledge

Unprecedented knowledge in supporting the data import process.

A Deep Understanding

An understanding of the data structure required to efficiently represent your portfolio information.

Personable Team

A friendly team that can guide you through the process every step of the way.

Salesforce and Hubspot

Experience with transitioning data from off the shelf CRMs such as Salesforce and Hubspot.

If you would like to see a demo of our system and understand more on how we can help you transfer your data to our system then feel free to get in touch and we’d be happy to show you around.


The Lost Arc Of Securing Your Data

As a broker, you know that securing your data is extremely important. From a data privacy point of view, this is obviously crucial but, in many ways, your data is your most valuable asset. It is your Intellectual Property and is what separates you from the rest of the pack. It should be your first and last crusade to keep it safe.

It’s more than likely that you are using a CRM system to manage the bulk of your data. These systems take on additional responsibility in the sense that they store all of your core business information, from customer data to financials.

For CRM systems, it is imperative that they have the necessary security measures in place to ensure that your data is well protected.

Reputable Hosting:

When using a CRM, your data is entered through a front-end web app and then stored in a database. If this is a cloud-based application, a provider outside of the company managing your CRM system will host the environments that the data is held within.

It’s important that a credible provider is used for hosting so that suitable security protocols are in place. Providers such as Microsoft and Amazon are good bets.

Single Tenant Database:

If you are using a CRM system, it’s a certainty that lots of other companies are too. If your data is stored on a database, you ideally want your data separated from other companies.

If it isn’t, then if you ever need your data rolled back, the CRM provider may not be able to do this as they would have to roll back all data within that database, affecting other companies. Also, it increases the chance of cross-contamination of data (your data appearing somewhere where it shouldn’t). Single Tenant Databases give you peace of mind that your data is stored on its own independent database.

Encryption At All Levels:

Unfortunately, there are hackers in the technology world who attempt to gain access illegally to system databases. Encryption is in place to ensure that, if this were to happen, your data is unreadable.

Secure Socket Layer (SSL) should be set against the web app you are using to protect your data against unlawful visitors. The data stored in the database should also be encrypted (at-rest) and the data should also be encrypted when it moves from the database to the web-app (in-transit).

Password Lock-Out:

Hackers or an untrustworthy employee may try to log into the system by using your username or email address and trying to guess your password. Hackers use something called Credential Stuffing, where they’ll use automation to guess your password multiple times.

The best way to protect your business from these types of behaviours is to put a limit on the number of times a password can be guessed incorrectly before your account is locked out. 3 opportunities tend to be the industry standard.

It may be frustrating for your team if they are continuously getting locked out but this is much preferred to your data being vulnerable to attack.

IP Filtering:

One of the great benefits of cloud-based applications is that they can be used anytime, anywhere. However, it may be that you don’t want your team using the system at home. There may be no need for them to do this.

Where this is the case IP Filtering can help to ensure that only a pre-selected list of IP addresses can gain access to the system outside of your office location. For example, just your management team.

And that barely scratches the surface...

Our UtilityClick system has been built from the ground up with security in mind. We have invested heavily in our system to ensure that industry standard technologies are used to protect your data.

In brief with UtilityClick you have:

Microsoft Applications

Microsoft applications being utilised for optimum data protection.

Isolated Databases

An isolated database so your data is stored separately from other broker data.

Data Encryption

Data encryption applied at all levels to ensure that your data is only readable by our Software.

Account Monitoring

Account lock-out where multiple unsuccessful password submissions are made.

Restrict By IP Address

IP Filtering to provide flexibility on who can use the system outside of your office.

If you would like to see a demo of our system and understand more on how your data is protected within our PRO CRM system, feel free to get in touch and we’d be happy to show you around.