Bloor’s latest data migration research paper is out, sort of.

First of all welcome back to Johny’s Data Migration Blog. As my regular followers might have noticed there has been the annual interruption to service that coincides with my annual holidays. This year I tried going communications cold turkey - no lap top, no popping into an internet café, complete communication black out (well I did have my smart phone but that was for emergencies only). Hence the complete lack of blogs over the summer. But here we are, on the cusp of autumn, and already there are a stack of really interesting snippets piling up to write about.

This week I’m going to be talking about the latest Bloor report. Back in 2007 Philip Howard of Bloor Research produced the first industry report on Data Migration for at least 10 years.

Ever since then he has been threatening to produce a second. Well this has now been published. Unfortunately Bloor have put so many restrictions around comment on this report that I’m not sure I can say anything at all about it. I would like to share with you some nuggets of wisdom, of which there are many. I would like to contribute some more critical comments, of which there are few. I’d like to engage with it in public like any other analyst report but Bloor have made it clear that the conditions upon which I have been allowed to see a copy preclude me commenting upon it in public.

On the one hand I understand these restrictions - Bloor are not a charity. They have invested time and money in this essential research. They deserve to recoup their investment and profit by it. I have no problems with that, indeed as a person who earns their corn working in this area, I encourage it. However, on the other hand, it completely invalidates the normal process of scholarship and knowledge promulgation where public peer criticism is an essential part of the process without which research is diminished in value.

I’m glad that I’m not in the position to have to square this circle.

What is interesting, of course, is that the reason this report is being kept under wraps is because, as Phillip Howard its author acknowledges on IT Director, the normal sources of finance - the software suppliers, the systems integrators etc. have not stepped up to the (money) plate. Now why is that, we could ask ourselves? Are they leaving this market place having flirted with it for the last 5 or 6 years? Do they not see it as an obvious area of growth? Is it too hard for them to sell into (see some of my earlier blogs regarding the challenges of selling into Data Migration projects)? Is the report not seen as supportive of their market positions? We are left to guess.

I would like to recommend or not this report but, given the restrictions around its dissemination, I can say no more. I guess I’ll just have to wait until the results go feral then come back to it.

However I see that Bloor are sponsoring another of their Data Governance gatherings in London. I’ve found these to be useful networking and ideas sharing events in the past. I won’t be able to make it this time around due to work commitments and I’m not privy to which of the Bloor industry specialists will be there but I’d assume that Phillip Howard may well be in attendance. This could be the chance to beard him in his lair as it were (as well as taking part in an excellent networking event where you can chew the cud with some of the best minds in this area in the UK).

As we are discussing up and coming events, for those who would like to hear my mellifluous tones, I will be appearing on a Data Quality Pro webinar on Tuesday next week with a follow up the following week. The first session of this double header on Data Quality-Centric Data Migration will look at core processes required in a data quality centric migration project. I will walk through each component of PDM and explain how data quality rules play such a pivotal role in a successful Data Migration.

The second session, a fortnight later, looks at how to construct your teams to create a focused and efficient data migration workflow. One my themes in both webinars will be how to use the data quality activity in a Data Migration project as a spring board to creating an ongoing culture of Data Governance and Data Quality.

Johny Morris

About the author

John Morris has over 20 years experience in IT as a programmer, business analyst, project manager and data architect. He has spent the last 10 years working exclusively on data migration and system integration projects. John is the author of Practical Data Migration.