What Is Data Mapping, Should You Use It & How?

by Lalithaa

No matter what kind of a business you are in charge with, you will have to deal with a lot of data. And, at one point or another, you may need to move the data between systems. That can’t be a job well done if you’ve previously been sloppy about the process and if you haven’t really put a lot of effort into organizing everything the right way. If you really want your migration, or integration, or any other similar project, to run smoothly, you’ll need to learn more about data mapping.

Understanding this concept will help you figure out what it is that has to be done in order for data to be moved from one application to another successfully. Not all of the systems you may be using or you may want to use function the same way, meaning that they don’t all store things in the same way. Thus, there can be some quite big misunderstandings between the various systems, unless you use this specific concept to your advantage. Let’s learn what it is, whether you should actually use it and how to use it right.

What Is Data Mapping?

So, what does this concept exactly entail? If you picture the different systems as human beings using their own languages, understanding this will be easier. If I speak English and you speak French, we are bound not to understand each other that well. Sure, we may be able to get some messages across, but a lot of it will just get, well, lost.

It is the same with the various digital systems and applications. Since they don’t all speak the same language, migrating your data from one to the other can lead to huge and serious losses. There is, however, one thing that can be of great help here.

Just like I would hire a translator to help get the messages across when cooperating with people not speaking my language, you should do the same when these systems in question. Except that, instead of actually hiring a human translator, you’ll use a specific concept that will ensure proper communication between the various applications. So, in short, the purpose of data mapping is to help the databases communicate more clearly with one another.

To get more concrete, this is the process of matching fields from one database to another. And, it is used for facilitating migration, integration, as well as any other data management task that could come your way. The decision makers need to ultimately get homogenized data in order to be able to, well, make decisions, because analyzing will be impossible without that.

Should You Use It?

Now that you have a clearer understanding about what this concept entails, you’re most probably wondering whether you should actually use it to your advantage. Or, better yet, you’re wondering why you should use it. Let me tell you about a few benefits that come with doing this, as I’m sure that will help you make your mind up and figure out if this is something you want to invest your time and money in or not.

Apart from the fact that mapping helps businesses understand the data better, get rid of any mistakes in the process, and integrate it more easily into a specific system, there are a few more things to know. Given that the process will be automated, if you play your cards right, you will reduce the need for manual entry, which will ultimately lead to saving time and saving money.

Read more on why you need it: https://tech.co/news/business-needs-data-mapping-2017-06

Furthermore, when you automate this process and use it to the fullest, you will also ensure the compliance of your business with the important rules and regulations. Mapping will validate the actual data format, the accuracy, and the completeness, together with all the other things that are pretty much essential for compliance. Plus, given that you’ll be able to easily track everything, this concept will also help you with auditing and compliance reporting.

We cannot fail to mention that this concept will also improve the security of your data. You’re probably dealing with a lot of sensitive information and keeping it secure is definitely important. By encrypting it, as well as by disabling unauthorized access, you will definitely get to keep things more secure, which is important both for your business and for your clients.

How to Use It?

Wondering how to do all of this? The good news is that there are programs you can use to automate the process, which will, as I’ve mentioned above, save you both time and money. The only thing to do, thus, is carefully select the right data mapping software solution for your business. Take time to research various different ones, and don’t forget to check out the providers in more details as well. That way, you’ll make the perfect choice.

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