If you’re switching to a cloud-based program or becoming a paperless office, you’ll need to transfer data. Not every piece of data needs to be transferred, especially if it’s inaccurate or irrelevant. However, all necessary data should be transferred and firms need to develop a strategy to make sure it’s all included, like determining what data they have, what they’ll need, and how to make the switch.
Figure out what information is needed
Just because you have information doesn’t necessarily mean you’ll need it. Do an assessment of your records and databases to determine what is relevant and what can be discarded. Any financial records and information should always be retained.
Clean up existing data
Make sure all records are accurate and up to date while removing or merging duplicates as necessary. You may have extremely old contacts in your system that have moved several times since their listed company or multiple listings for the same individual. Once you address these, you can start with a clean set of data in your new system.
Digitize paper data
To make sure all pertinent information is transferred during the switch, firms should look to digitize as many of their paper documents as possible. Not only does this ensure a secure back-up, but it also will make the new system more efficient when all data is accessible within one database. Paperwork should be scanned in and labeled with an appropriate naming convention.
Create a timeline
With the many day-to-day tasks involved with running a law firm, it can be easy to get sidetracked or to rush through implementation. Set a timeline to keep both you and your staff on track and on deadline, ensuring a smooth transition.
Cross-check data in the new system
Once the transfer is complete, you should randomly check records to make sure all necessary information is there before finalizing the switch.
If you are moving from a desktop-based program to a cloud-based one, you’ll want to follow the best practices associated with any type of switch to a new system. Many times the vendor will be able to assist in the process.