How To Handle Data Loss During Migration

For large enterprises or any businesses going through mergers or acquisitions, data migration plays an important role. ...

For large enterprises or any businesses going through mergers or acquisitions, data migration plays an important role. Whenever a company needs to switch, merge, or update data information systems, data migration is the answer.

However, migration comes with risks, with one of the most significant being data loss. While there are preventative measures, unforeseen circumstances can cause a loss of information as it's being transferred. Fortunately, knowing how to handle data loss during migration can help mitigate the impact should it occur.

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Why Data Loss Matters

In most business operations, data is everything, whether it’s customer information, sales and finance metrics, or other details. Many organizations cannot function without data, and when it falls through the cracks and becomes lost, they experience significant repercussions, such as halted operations, financial losses, and the loss of trust and reputation. The methods for dealing with data loss is key information that every business facing data migration should know.

Causes of Data Loss During Migration

There is a plethora of reasons why data could be lost.

Failures in Hardware and Software

Two of the primary culprits of data loss are hardware and software failures. For example, when servers, storage devices, migration tools, or other programs don’t work correctly, this can disrupt the information transfer and cause data corruption or loss.

How to handle data loss during migration begins with exploring the vulnerabilities in a business's software or hardware components and ensuring that they are working reliably. This is a great first line of defense against migration problems.

Human Error

Human error is one possible cause of data migration not working. Inexperienced or insufficiently trained workers can cause misconfigurations of migration settings, perform unintentional deletions, misunderstand objectives, or make other mistakes easily at any time. Employee training sessions, strict quality control measures, and strong validation protocols can help catch human-caused errors before they lead to data loss or corruption.

Partnering with a data migration expert also helps eliminate data loss from human error.

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Connectivity and Network Issues

Data travels at extraordinary speeds across networks worldwide via the internet. However, any issues with connectivity can interrupt the flow of information and cause corruption and loss of important data. Migration should occur during off-peak hours, and utilizing a strong, highly capable network infrastructure and tools can help prevent any connectivity issues.

Corrupt Data

Data corruption is irreversible damage to information. Environmental factors, hardware malfunction, and software bugs can all cause it. IT teams should implement integrity checks, checksums, and hash functions among other measures to identify and fix possible corruption issues as quickly as possible. 

Incompatible Data Formats

Data formats that are incompatible is always a possible issue, especially when companies transfer from a legacy system to a more modern data storage solution. Incompatible formats can lead to distortion or complete loss of important information. Companies wondering how to handle data loss during migration should consider investing in data profiling, mapping, and transformation processes that can help bridge the gap between older and newer formats.

Insufficient Recovery and Backup Strategies

Data loss is a huge risk any time there are no strong recovery or backup plans in place. Comprehensive backup tools for each stage of the process should be in place, as recovery procedures are easy to access and well-documented. This serves as a safety net.


Ways To Prevent Data Loss During Migration

How do you prevent data loss when migrating from one system to another? Forming a strong migration strategy, including planning, preparation, testing, and data management, are all essential.


The beginning of any data migration process is planning. This means conducting an inventory of existing data and information, analyzing dependencies, and setting migration goals and objectives. IT teams should develop a detailed and thorough plan that includes contingency measures, the allocation of resources, and timelines.

Companies wondering how to handle data loss during migration should never underestimate the power of planning. The anticipation of challenges, the amount of resources the project will take, and appropriate communication channels with stakeholders are all key parts of a successful migration plan that can help the process go smoothly. 

Another consideration for businesses is to think about whether or not the data will be moved all at once, or in phases. Oftentimes IT teams can avoid data loss by utilizing phased data transfer instead of the Big Bang method. This is because the larger the amount of data the team tries to move, the greater the risk is.


Part of planning is preparation. Companies that will be performing data migration should ensure that their hardware and software components and network infrastructure are all in the best condition possible. Data cleansing to remove obsolete and redundant information can be helpful for reducing the amount of data transferred, thus reducing the risk of errors.

Businesses should also ensure that IT teams thoroughly document all data migration procedures, create critical data backup copies, and use control mechanisms. 


Testing is one of the most crucial steps to ensuring a smooth, successful migration. IT teams should perform extensive tests to help rectify and identify potential problems. These tests may include measures to validate data integrity, check compatibility issues, and simulate real scenarios to help analyze system performance.

Knowing how to handle data loss during migration through testing is vital for any company undergoing this process. Testing protocols at each stage help IT professionals adjust and minimize risks. 

Data Cleansing

To ensure the reliability and accuracy of migrated information, companies should perform data cleansing. This helps to eliminate duplicate information, put everything in standardized formats, and find and address missing values to keep the migration process smooth.

Business leaders and stakeholders may wonder how to handle missing values in data mining during migration. The answer is to have the IT professionals working on the process employ data profiling tools and identify inconsistencies and data gaps, as well as create data cleansing routines to help remediate missing values.

How To Identify and Recover Lost Data

No matter how well-planned the migration process is, data loss still may occur. When this happens, companies should use a systematic approach to help find, isolate, and recover lost data whenever possible.

Identifying and Isolating the Cause of Data Loss

When data becomes lost or corrupted, the first step is to figure out the cause. This requires expert knowledge of how to handle data loss during migration. First up is an analysis of the entire migration process, looking over logs and error reports as well as system metrics to pinpoint the specific moment where data loss occurred. Then, the team can quickly isolate the affected data and hopefully repair or recover it. 

IT teams can perform forensic analyses of the migration process and environment to find the cause and develop target strategies for prevention and data recovery.

Attempting To Recover Lost Data

As soon as the team identifies the reason for data loss, they should begin recovery efforts. This may require recovery tools, specialized services, or restoring data from backups, depending on the type of data loss or corruption.

How do you prevent data loss when migrating to the cloud? A team that knows how to handle data loss during migration to the cloud understands the importance of acting quickly. Companies should employ backup and recovery mechanisms, and experts can help identify advanced recovery options. The faster the intervention, the more likely it is that the impact of data loss will be minimal.

Conducting Analyses

Once the team recovers as much lost data as possible, they should conduct comprehensive analyses to get an idea of the issues and impact of the incident. This should not only review the technical aspects of the migration but also consider the consequence of data loss or corruption for customer relations, compliance, and business processes.

Companies should also get key stakeholders involved to help gain insight into the consequences of data loss. They can then use this to help refine the migration strategy, especially for future migration attempts.

How To Handle Data Loss When Data Recovery Doesn’t Work

When a business is unable to recover lost data, all hope is not lost. Professional data recovery services can help in cases where data has been lost or seriously damaged. Sometimes the problem lies outside the scope of the in-house IT team. 

It’s important to pause the process, check backups, and get professional help as soon as possible. This helps ensure that more data is not lost, that the cause can be quickly found, and that it can most likely be recovered using more advanced methods.

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How To Handle Data Loss During Migration by Hiring Experts

Success in data migration, with all its complexities, depends on proper preparation, investment, and expertise. In-house teams may not always know how to handle data loss during migration. One of the best ways to avoid data loss or to quickly recover lost data is to hire a third party dedicated to data migration and solutions. Cloudficient has years of experience and works all over the world helping companies with their digital transformations. If you’re facing an acquisition or data migration process and looking for expert assistance, reach out to us on our website.

With unmatched next generation migration technology, Cloudficient is revolutionizing the way businesses retire legacy systems and transform their organization into the cloud. Our business constantly remains focused on client needs and creating product offerings that match them. We provide affordable services that are scalable, fast and seamless.

If you would like to learn more about how to bring Cloudficiency to your migration project, visit our website, or contact us.

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