4 Things to Consider When Considering a Data Conversion
To Convert or Not Convert
When you purchase new software, should you do a data conversion or to start from scratch? You save time by converting your data, so here’s what you should know before going through with the conversion.
1. In what format is the current data stored or what format can it be exported to for conversion?
A conversion is easiest if the data from reports in the current software system can be exported to a Microsoft Excel or comma delimited format.
The data a software system uses can be stored in several different formats. Terminology used for the table and field names are most often cryptic and only make sense to the software developer. Having the data appear on a report with common column names such as “Well ID” makes it much easier to convert.
2. What data should be converted?
Choose what data you want to bring from your current oil & gas software system to the new software program. At a minimum, wells, owners division of interests should be converted since that is the heart of the system.
What about historical data?
The answer is: it depends.
What condition is your historical data in?
Is it clean? If not, do you want to go through it and clean it up before the conversion?
Do you want to include wells that have been sold or that are now inactive?
If you keep track of suspense (such as owner amounts on hold, owners under your check minimum and owners in deficit) convert these amounts so that your first distribution can take them into account.
The rest of the historical data can wait until later.
3. What data can be converted?
Find out what data can be converted to the new format and who needs to do the conversion. Most application vendors will do the conversion for you for an added fee, SherWare included.
The data in an accounting, revenue distribution and joint interest billing system is intricately woven together in such a way that the conversion needs to be handled with care so that all the related records are kept together.
Wells, owners (both royalty and working) and their addresses, settings and the division of interests can be converted.
The historical information can sometimes be converted depending on the format from which the data is being converted.
4. How long will the conversion take?
Having your data converted won’t do much good if it can’t be done in a reasonably quick fashion.
When you’re going through the conversion process, you won’t be able to use your existing system until the conversion is complete. If the data can be converted quickly, there will be no down time for your processing.
Most data conversions we do at SherWare take three days or less depending on the format of the information. Comma delimited and Excel files convert the quickest. Text files come in at a close second and other formats take longer.
What to do after a data conversion
After the data is converted, run comparable reports in the existing software and new software to make sure balances and division of interests match.
If you convert historical data, check the balances on well history and owner history reports, especially if you plan to create 1099s on the new system for the current year.
Converting to a new software system doesn’t need to be hard. If you take the steps to make sure your data is converted properly then you should be able to take off running with your new software system and never look back.