Many Chartio customers are faced with the unexpected task of migrating to a new reporting platform. How do you go about it? How do you ensure everything is accounted for? How can you avoid wasting time on things you don’t need? How can you drive progress and not linger on multiple platforms?
So many variables mean a project like this can go awry. Don’t let that happen to you! Below are some lessons learned from our team at Datateer that will make your migration project efficient.
First, ensure you spend some time planning for scope by taking inventory of what you want to keep and what you don’t.
The label “migration project” when swapping BI reporting tools can be a little misleading. It implies that existing charts and dashboard can just simply be moved to a new platform and they will work just as they did on the old platform. However, unlike a file system upgrade or application update, you will not be able to simply copy/paste data files over to a new reporting tool and have it work.
Chartio visualizations each have independent sql source statements, individualized pipeline transforms, and customized configurations. Therefore, each chart will have to be recreated on the new platform utilizing the new platform’s features and capabilities to reproduce as closely as possible the intent of the original visualization. Spending some time upfront on scoping which dashboards/charts to include and which ones to ignore will ultimately save time on development by excluding dashboards that are not actually used.
Over the last several months Chartio has made available increasingly more information on dashboards, charts, users, data sources and their internal usage statistics. These can be extremely helpful tools for determining which charts/dashboards are within scope, and which ones may have passed their usefulness. This data can be viewed and downloaded by going to the Usage Stats page under the Admin menu within Chartio.
Clearly Measure Progress
Second, manage the project by setting clear expectations and being transparent. Often there can be perceptions among organization leaders or members that this type of project is “simple” and doesn’t require time or resources.
Resist the temptation or pressure to assume this type of effort is a small undertaking. Many Chartio customers are having to squeeze an unexpected migration project in among their already full list of priorities and projects.
By tracking progress on each chart and dashboard within an established scope like in the above image, you can justify the time and resource estimate of what such a project in your organization might require. Also, being transparent by sharing progress with all stakeholders along the journey helps keep everyone informed on the clear path toward completion.
Involve Your Audience
Third, incorporate standards and user reviews as quality measures in your migration project. Ensuring the metrics match between the old charts and the new charts is just the first step in delivering a quality solution. Other components also need to be reviewed – dash
board flows and layouts, user interaction with filters and charts, security access, themes and colors, labels/titles, etc. As each dashboard and chart will need to be recreated on the new platform, consider the opportunity to reevaluate old designs and layouts in favor of improved usability and flow. Each of these design elements can be standardized into checklists to ensure consistency and quality can be delivered efficiently.
Including dashboard users early on as part of the review process will also increase the quality of the finished product and help to quickly identify anything missing. The agile approach of failing fast and failing often applies here – getting feedback early and often is key to successful adoption of the new reporting platform. Consider scheduling a regular event where users can review what is ready for QA with the analytics/development team in attendance to help answer questions or offer support. Or maybe communicating a dedicated form for consistent feedback might be a potential aid.
Migrating Chartio dashboards to a new reporting platform is not a trivial endeavor. At Datateer we have seen how following these key points results in delivering quality and value as quickly and efficiently as possible for our partners. If you are embarking on a Chartio migration project hopefully these suggestions can be helpful guidelines as you consider the initial approach, execution and successful delivery of dashboards and charts. Haven’t settled on a replacement reporting tool yet? Here is a reference we created and is updated by the analytics community: Product Evaluation Matrix. If you are looking for a partner to help along your Chartio migration journey or just have questions, Datateer is ready to support you.