How Can You Ensure You Don't Lose Data During Your Community Migration?

Robert Hanson

During a community migration our clients’ single largest concern is the migration of content and data.

Many clients have owned and managed their community for years and have an enormous amount of company data, intellectual property, and customer insights that represents the collective corporate memory of their organization. The thought of possibly losing some or all of this data is worrisome. At  Social Edge we work closely with you to prevent this from happening.

The technology to move content from one system to another (typically, via REST API) is a tried and true method used by software companies. With the proper preparation and expectation-setting by your migration service provider, you as a client should expect that all of your content, files, and data will successfully move to your new community per the plan.

You will not lose any content!

“Social Edge was instrumental in our community migration and launch. Moving 75k pieces of content from three disparate systems required thoughtful planning, organization and ultimately their assistance in the execution of the migration was crucial. We were able to preserve our 10 year history of conversations and importantly our search engine rankings and traffic volumes.”

Helen Trim

Global Vice President, Digital Marketing & Demand Generation


Social Edge’s Content And Data Community Migration Preparation

Social Edge has performed dozens of community migrations to and from over 30 different software platforms. We follow an industry standard process across the technology field known as ETL (Extract, Transform and Load).

Here are the preparatory steps, specific to the community industry, that we take when working with a client to migrate their content and data to a new community platform.

1. Analysis

First, a platform to platform analysis occurs to inspect all of the available REST APIs or other existing frameworks allowed to reliably move content and data from one platform to another.

2. Mapping Exercise

Next, a content and data mapping exercise occurs between the two platforms. Most community platforms have common features such as a discussion or blog post. 

However, each community does have unique features that may or may not exist in the new platform. Social Edge leverages our expertise to create a generic mapping from one software platform to another. Where gaps exist we create a default path to preserve as much content and data as possible.

  • Example A: The source platform has a polling feature but the destination or new platform does not. Working with the client, we may decide to take each poll from the source platform and convert it to a pdf file, including results, comments, and likes to preserve the content for future viewing on the new platform.
  • Example B: The source system has a native document content type. The new platform has something similar but it is a wiki content type so there are differences. Here, we are likely to be able to migrate the source documents to the wiki content type on the new software platform.

3. Tooling & Scripts for Automation

Once we outline the mapping on paper, we begin to create tooling and programmatic scripts to automate the process. Often, one or both of the software platforms are ones that we have worked with before. In those cases, the existing tooling will be reviewed along with relevant previous project postmortems to see what improvements we would like to make to the tooling.

Client Focused Content and Data Migration

Up until this point, all of this work can occur independently and mostly behind the scenes to the client. This is the groundwork to generically move content, data, and files from Platform A to Platform B.

The next step is to customize the process to address unique client needs. In many cases, clients would like to “lift and shift” their community. From a content and data standpoint, this means they would like to take everything possible from their current software platform and move it to the new platform. Oftentimes, this is our client’s starting position. However, as they evaluate their needs they may have certain changes they might want to make.

At times, clients are not 100% sure how they may want to proceed with a unique situation. We have partnered with clients to provide a path for them to address those use cases.

Based on business needs, the client may want to…

  • Combine certain community groups together into one group on the new platform.
  • Split certain group data based on criteria the client provides.
  • Exclude content they don’t want to migrate to the new community.
  • Quarantine certain content to move but later evaluate if they would like to delete it permanently. 
  • Include one or two additional content and data sources as part of the community to community migration.

Community migration can be a daunting process, especially when it comes to the potential loss of valuable data and content. However, with proper preparation, you can ensure a smooth and successful migration without losing any content. With our expertise in moving content and data between various software platforms, rest assured that your data will be preserved during your migration. To learn more or book a discovery call, contact us today.