Legacy data migration

The hurdle:

A number of high-value datasets are located in legacy systems that don't allow ready and responsive data analysis.

Sue acknowledges and identifies the interoperability hurdle as an ongoing problem. It impedes workflows and compromises general systems and user efficiencies.

The leadership and relevant teams agree there is a problem and support the need to migrate data from legacy systems.

Sue contacts internal specialists with the skills and knowledge required to address the problem. A project team is developed.

The team identifies key elements of data and information governance that will help manage the interoperability hurdle.

Revisiting standards and procedures ensures clear understanding of the agency's overarching governance requirements.

Resource: Data governance and management

The project team starts by analysing the legacy systems and their functionality to assess how data can be extracted out of the systems.

The analysis includes an audit of data in the legacy systems and an assessment of the data quality.

Determining the quality of existing data will enable the team to understand whether their legacy data will be compatible for their future state vision.


The project team develops a clear vision of how the legacy data should be made accessible.

A user research exercise provides the team with customer story maps to solidify the vision.

Resource: Future state vision

Gaps identified between the current state assessment and future state vision form core requirements for the migration project.

Resource: Gap analysis

The team plans and designs the structure and operation of the migration. They define key stakeholder roles that will implement and manage the process.

The information governance and IT specialists also develop a plan to retire (decommission) the legacy systems.

Resource: Planning and design

The project team decides what tools and other tasks are required to ensure the migration is a success.

Tools and technologies are considered within the available budget. Existing infrastructure and available skills are considered.

Data extraction and remediation are done prior to the migration

Resource: Data migration

The newly migrated data is monitored by data consumers to ensure it meets their needs.

Real-time data monitoring and analytics are implemented to ensure early detection of errors and support continuous improvement.

Resource: BAU, monitoring and continuous improvement

Access to the legacy data is realised and the team writes an end of project report recommending a strategy to ensure data is standardised in the agency, along with a data quality program.

The migration project:

  • makes use of new and existing technologies
  • entails new responsibilities within teams
  • overcomes the interoperability hurdle.
Copyright National Archives of Australia 2019