We are inundated with data. Therefore, before a campaign commences, steps need to be taken to coordinate, organize, and map the data.

It’s not a simple task. You’re usually not going to target one set of people on one platform and extract one set of information from them. Data is usually going to be flowing in from different sources and there’s likely going to be multitudes of it, depending on what you specifically requested prior.

Information is going to flow through different sets and it’s exactly why a data flow map needs to be created beforehand.

Data mapping is defined as “a process used in data warehousing by which different data models are linked to each other using a defined set of methods to characterize data in a specific definition.” It can be used for any number of reasons, not limited to:

  • Data transformation or data mediation between a data source and its destination
  • Identification or relationships in data which is vital in analysis of data lineage
  • Discover sensitive data like some last digits in a social security number
  • Consolidation of many databases into one while identifying redundancy

It’s created by mapping data elements between two distinct models and is key in the data integration process. Before you can analyze the information you deem valuable, it must first pass through the data flow map. This is where “data is condensed and can be used to automatically discover complex mappings between sets, as well as consolidating multiple databases into a single database.”

 

Slide created by Dmitri Nesteruk: https://www.slideshare.net/DmitriNesteruk/data-mapping-tutorial

 

Let’s use an example really quick of its importance.

“Consider one list of info contains names, addresses, cities and states, and zip codes for each person. Also, consider a second set of info that includes a list of people and their music preferences. This list includes listener, album name, artist and song name for each listener. The lists are self-contained, somewhat related, but distinct.

Now suppose you wanted to create a mailing list of people who like a particular artist. You can’t easily get the info because there is no way to relate one info-set to the other. The solution is to create a mapping between the name in the first info-set and the listener in the second info-set.

The specification of the relationship is called a data mapping.

From there, you simply search the related or combined information set for all listeners in the list that like that particular artist. This gives you the corresponding email addresses.”

To put it simply: “data mapping software is used to convert data into a standardized electronic data interchange file format and then back again so that incoming data can be matched to existing data.”

Your data is going to be running through several access points before it eventually reaches the point of it having something of value. “Data flow maps are a recognized method of tracing the flow of data through a process or physically through a network.”

Let the data flow as it would. Make it count like you should. Because all data flows can lead to insight, all you need is an accurate map.