Tips for Integrating Data into a Database

If you are combining companies with another business or if you are trying to put together data sets from multiple different sites, there is a good chance that you are going to need to combine databases. Databases are areas where large amounts of data are stores in very specific formats. The problem with this is that you are going to need to clean the data in order to make sure that it meets the formatting requirements of your new, combined database. For example, half of the sites where you send data might save the date as Month/Day/Year, whereas the rest of the sites might save the date as Day/Month/Year. This is going to cause problems because it could possibly result in your data becoming corrupted or having other issues. Here are some tips for cleaning the data that you have so that you can integrate it into a database.

1. Obtain All Schemas

The first thing that you need to do is get all of the schemas for the various databases that you are trying to merge. The schema is essentially the list of table headers and the formats that are attributed to them. For example, if you have a table of books, you might have table headers such as Title, ISBN, Publisher, Author, and Publication Date. Then, you will need to see if any of the schemas are going to overlap. For example, you might have a site that is managing all of the books written in French and another site that manages books that are written in English. You will then need to make sure that the formats for things like the Publication Date are exactly the same across every site.

2. Clean the Data

Next, you will need to clean the data. The easiest thing to do for a large move such as the one that you are doing is to first do conversions. Decide on a final format for the combined database. Then, change data columns that do not fit that format by physically changing their schema and running a conversion. This will unify all of the schema formatting issues. Then, you will need to remove all special characters that are not strictly numbers, letters, or spaces, and turn everything to lowercase for further unification. After this, you can merge the data.

3. Run in Steps

Once you start merging, only merge a few hundred lines at a time. This will allow you to catch errors that you can fix, rather than having to fix hundreds of errors at the end of an unsuccessful and time consuming run.

For more information, talk to a company like SB Technologies LLC that specializes in computer systems integration.