Imagine this: less than half an organization’s structured data is used in decision-making. Think of the missed opportunities for customer acquisition and revenue by not taking advantage of that information. According to an IBM study, 87 percent of CEOs regard data as a strategic asset. So why then are companies not harnessing the power of this information? Here, we’ll discuss data mapping and its importance to systems integration so that companies can harness the power of this valuable information.

Table of Contents

Enjoying This Article?

Receive great content weekly with the Xplenty Newsletter!

Octopus

What is Data Mapping?

Data is the lifeblood of modern organizations. Used as a competitive advantage, it is the foundation of informed decision-making. Harnessing the power of this information requires a complete and centralized picture of the details. Unfortunately, much of today’s information exists in silos segmented by departments. This often creates misalignment within the company that leads to data chaos. Mapping is the key to bringing structure to this disparate information. 

The process matches fields from one source to another. It bridges the differences between systems so that when the information is moved between sources, it is accurate and usable at the destination.

Why Is It Important?

Wouldn’t it be nice to predict future revenue and growth opportunities? Thanks to data mapping, it is possible. Quality insight achieved through mapping enables effective analysis that helps your company make well-informed business decisions. With quality insight, you’ll have the confidence needed to make the necessary adjustments to remain competitive and grow your bottom line. 

Take customer behavior. There are a ton of customer details you can gather from various channels such as web, mobile, and phone. Gathering these details into one place helps you to learn information such as:

  • What they purchased
  • How often they’ve visited the site
  • What pages they visited most frequently on the site
  • The specific customer support questions asked

With this kind of insight, you can drive customer engagement and turn them into loyal customers. You can also use the insight to develop a strategy to gain new customers. Xplenty’s suite of low-code tools helps take the complexity out of the process by providing a pre-built integration into hundreds of popular systems.

The Role of Mapping in the ETL Process

Mapping is the first step in moving all of this valuable material to a centralized location. The process is critical to ensuring its quality and accuracy once it reaches the destination. 

Data Transformation vs. Data Migration 

You may sometimes hear these words used interchangeably when discussing data integration. Although they are both relevant to the topic, they are distinct processes.

Transformation is converting information from one format to another, specifically from the source format to that of the destination. This process includes cleansing, converting, removing duplicates, and enriching the input.

Data migration is moving or transferring from one system to another. With Xplenty, you can leverage a vast catalog of pre-built integrations to quickly and easily transfer between systems.

Integrate Your Data Today!

Try Xplenty free for 14 days. No credit card required.

Octopus

Steps in Data Mapping

The mapping process follows a structured approach to determining what needs to be integrated and how it should be formatted at the destination.

Requirements

The first step involves requirements gathering to determine what fields need to be transferred. This step also includes determining the frequency of the transfer.

Mapping

The map defines how the source fields match the fields at the destination.

Transformation

Transformation converts data types, cleanses, and prepares the information for transfer. Developers will code the formula or rules for transformation as a part of this process.

Validation

Before deployment, the output must be tested. This is accomplished by comparing it against a sample set. If errors are found, developers can make adjustments as needed.

Deployment

Once testing is completed, the information is migrated to the destination system.

Maintenance

Integration is not a one-time process. Additional sources may be added or changed. Constant updates are required to keep the destination up-to-date.

Common Challenges With Mapping and How to Overcome Them

Although a valuable process, mapping does not come without its challenges. Done incorrectly, you could end up with information that is essentially useless for decision-making.

Poor Requirements

Sadly, one of the most common blunders companies make is ignoring the importance of quality requirements. It is a problem that causes rework that leads to developer frustration and stakeholder dissatisfaction. Conducting thorough requirements gathering helps ensure companies:

  • Define the data needed
  • Define the workflow to determine how the information will be used
  • Determine the source of the data

Lack of Quality Input

Many organizations believe that poor data quality is responsible for an average of $15 million per year in losses. Inadequate information weakens the company’s competitive edge and undermines its strategy. 

Xplenty helps overcome some of these challenges by providing low-code tools to map the necessary fields for successful system integration.

How Xplenty Can Help

Enjoying This Article?

Receive great content weekly with the Xplenty Newsletter!

Octopus

Data mapping is the core of a successful system integration effort. The process empowers leaders to make decisions confidently, set goals, and meet business objectives.

The amount of information to be integrated can make the process time-consuming. Xplenty’s low-code tools remove the complexity and time required. The platform features pre-built integrations for hundreds of systems and a user-friendly dashboard. Contact us for a demo and risk-free trial.