Zuercher Technologies has developed proprietary tools and processes that make data conversion efficient, effective, and more affordable than most vendors. The integrity and accuracy of the data is second to none, and all conversions are completed before the system is implemented.
Discovery & Analysis
Since each agency uses their data in unique ways, the Zuercher Technologies project team starts the data conversion process with an in-depth analysis of the existing system. The project team spends time discovering the data that each department collects and examines how that data is used in performing their job duties.
Once an understanding of these key factors has been established, the project team begins working with Zuercher Technologies’ data conversion specialists to create a plan of what needs to be converted and how it should relate to the new system. An agency contact person is also established for each section of data to be converted in the event that any questions arise during the process.
In the next phase, data mapping, the conversion plan becomes highly refined. Every element of data to be converted is examined and the plan is expanded to determine exactly where the data will be placed in the software and if any conversions of values are necessary.
A key step for many agencies in the data mapping process is combining information from separate or disparate legacy systems. There may be several fields with different titles or records that are combined. For example, an individual may have a name record in a CAD system from a call for service and also a record in the jail system from a previous arrest.
During the conversion, these two records are scrubbed and merged to create one master name file that can be used by all modules of the system. If in the CAD system "Name” was one field and in the jail system there was "First Name” and "Last Name”, the mapping process accounts for these differences and ensures that the data ends up in the correct place in Zuercher Suite.
While some of the mapping is handled by the data conversion specialists without assistance from the agency, there may be times when values need to be established by agency personnel using the Zuercher Suite data mapping tool. The data mapping tool allows agency administrators to view values of certain items from their old system side-by-side with the fields that will be used in the new software. Using the data mapping tool, they can assign which data should be contained in the new fields just by selecting it from drop-down menus. This visualization of how the data will be converted helps to ensure accuracy and data integrity.
The process continues to evolve with conversion testing. Zuercher Technologies’ data conversion specialists run several test conversions using the established data mapping, then they examine the data for accuracy and any concerns. The tests are run multiple times to ensure that when final conversion takes place, the data is correct and where it needs to be.
Extraction & Conversion
Because of the mapping and testing process, the actual extraction and conversion of data is straightforward and completely automated. The proprietary data conversion tools allow Zuercher Technologies to work with logical entities within Zuercher Suite and abstract the complexity of record level transactional data.
The most unique thing about the process is that it is all completed before an agency goes live with the system. Many vendors activate the agency’s software and then attempt to convert the old data. This can cause unnecessary downtime and stress for the agency.
The proprietary tools used by the Zuercher Technologies data conversion specialists have built-in data quality and profiling routines. All converted data is subjected to the same referential integrity checks as data entered through Zuercher Suite..
These unique tools and processes allow Zuercher Technologies to convert agencys’ legacy data in a timely and cost effective manner while ensuring that the data converted is of the highest quality possible.