Understanding Data Conversion
Conversion of data from an existing system is one of the most challenging and critical tasks that you accomplish while installing the Campus Solutions system. The conversion task takes preparation and planning, a programming effort, and robust testing.
Because of many factors—amount of data to convert, business practices, institutional schedule—much of the decisions as to when, how much, and even the method of converting historical data is ultimately up to you. The more you convert the better the new system becomes, but the more challenging the conversion task is. This section contains some best practice recommendations for converting data into Campus Solutions; however, the information presented here is not exhaustive.
Consider these tasks:
Explore Campus Solutions thoroughly before you convert any data.
Mapping the data to existing fields in PeopleSoft is a step that requires you to know the system in depth. Take advantage of documentation and training available.
Completely scope the project before starting an implementation and conversion.
An institution should develop a well-defined scope or implementation plan—including information such as the full extent of the conversion, how much data to convert, and the timing of each phase of data conversion—before starting the project. This plan should have the approval or buy-in of the institution's management team, the project team, and the partners or PeopleSoft consultants with whom you are working.
Test, test, test.
It is critical that you test the processes thoroughly in an environment where you can catch errors before you convert the data.
Plan a conversion schedule.
Because Campus Solutions is a fully integrated system with multiple applications, it is important to plan which applications are converted in a specific order. You may convert the data any way you want, but this topic suggests how to maximize the system, and hopefully, minimize any challenges you may encounter during conversion.
There are as many ways to plan a conversion as there are universities. So it is a unique process based upon the legacy system, your needs, and how you do business. It is suggested that you:
Enter go-live dates (or a go-live term) for fall term, not mid-year.
If you do choose a spring term as the go-live term, you may run into some serious problems. For example, in the case of PeopleSoft Financial Aid, the financial aid cycle starts months before the fall term. The Financial Aid office awards financial aid starting in the March and April time frame for the fall semester. So, timing the implementation drastically impacts the amount of data that needs to be converted as well as the complexity of the conversion process. Work closely with partners, consultants, and account managers to determine the best go-live dates for the institution.
Convert names, addresses, and personal information first and as early as possible.
From there you can choose the order of the conversion of each application. It is suggested that you convert PeopleSoft Recruiting and Admissions and Financial Aid, then PeopleSoft Student Records and PeopleSoft Student Financials. If you are using PeopleSoft Human Resources applications in addition to Campus Solutions applications, it is critical that you coordinate the name, address, and personal information conversion process with the Human Resources conversion team, thereby reducing the amount of cleanup required and the duplicity and conflict of data when the data is converted.
Enter an effective date that is adequate for your own history.
This issue can particularly arise in Student Records.