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What is Mapping?


Staff member
Mar 19, 2024
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What is Mapping

As the volume of information in e-commerce experiences an unprecedented surge, the practice of data mapping proves essential in managing highly intense data flows. Dealing with data from diverse sources requires systematic organization, transformation, and automation. Without these measures, handling such information becomes a tedious and time-consuming task. The data mapping process plays a crucial role in ensuring the accurate recording, proper utilization, and seamless integration of all incoming data into systems. It acts as a foundational mechanism to bring order to the complexity of data inflow, enabling effective management and utilization.

What Exactly Is Data Mapping?

Data mapping involves the extraction of information fields from databases or source systems and aligning them with corresponding target fields in various business applications. In essence, it is a systematic process that establishes a connection between the display models of data in distinct sources and target systems.

What Is the Significance of Doing This?

The primary objective of data mapping is to establish connections between the data fields in sources and target systems. A crucial aspect is Product Data Mapping (PDM), which plays a fundamental role in consolidating information, marking the initial phase in any data extraction, transformation, and loading (ETL) process. Through data mapping, you can achieve several key outcomes:

1. Develop, transform, integrate, and transfer data warehouses effectively.

2. Establish connections between data originating from diverse sources.

3. Ensure data quality by utilizing mapping software that automatically identifies inconsistencies, inaccuracies, and other issues in databases.

4. Identify trends and facilitate the sharing of real-time reports. The procedure involves linking products to their respective categories, enhancing the ease of product discovery for customers. Improved catalog structuring enables better vendor categorization based on products/services and empowers businesses to showcase and transform data for increased operational efficiency.

Different Ways to do it

Choosing the right approach for information mapping provides a range of effective models, each catering to specific needs. Product data mapping techniques can be broadly categorized into automated, semi-automated, and manual methods.

  1. Automated Data Mapping

– Conducted entirely by specialized software tools.

– Typically involves a ready-made, paid solution.

– Utilizes advanced technologies like machine learning and automation, offering advantages such as:

Seamless data extraction.

Launching complex processing flows through a user-friendly interface.

Visualization of data flows with attractive effects.

Automated issue notifications and assistance in problem resolution.

– Well-chosen data management tools save considerable time in addressing immediate business challenges and scale efficiently.

2. Semi-Automated Mapping

– Also known as Schema Mapping, this method requires coding knowledge and involves a degree of manual work.

– A hybrid process where the data mapping tool establishes links between sources and targets, with IT specialists verifying and manually correcting as needed.

– Benefits include:

A balance between performance and accessibility.

Basic coding input is required.

Time-saving without full automation.

Useful data visualizations for data analysts.

– Ideal for teams with budget constraints for basic data integration and small-scale data management.

3. Manual Mapping

– Requires professional implementation, involving a data engineer or developer capable of coding rules for data passage or insertion between fields and a mapper to encode and transform data sources.

– Offers strengths such as:

Fine-tuning of data tasks.

Complete control over the entire data mapping process.

More individual customization of elements when necessary.

– Optimal for one-time processes (e.g., data storage) when data warehouses are not excessively large.

Choosing the appropriate strategy depends on factors like budget, team expertise, and the scale and nature of data integration requirements.

Product Data Mapping Process

The Product Data Mapping Process involves three key steps, simplified for clarity: identifying the source, identifying the target, and establishing connections between the two structures using matching patterns. Depending on the chosen model, additional tasks may include defining compatible formats, transforming data, specifying transformation rules, and testing schema logic.

1. Identifying Product Content Fields To Map:

Begin by determining which data requires restructuring or relocation. The choice between automated and manual data mapping depends on project priorities:

For Integration: Assess the volume and frequency of data integrations. Automated tools are suitable for large and frequent integrations, while manual mapping may suffice for small, one-time projects.

For Migration: Examine source information and identify tasks for the target location. The amount of data influences the choice between automated and manual mapping.

For Transformation: Specify the data processing format needed for the intended purpose. Automated tools are generally preferred, but small projects can be handled manually.

2. Defining A Format For The Target Data:

Determine the format and structure for displaying information in both sources and target databases to ensure clarity and consistency.

3. Specifying Product Content Transformation Rules:

Depending on the chosen data mapping method, automated systems handle the task without coding. In a semi-automatic approach, connections are created using the program, and an experienced individual manually checks their correctness.

4. Testing Schema Logic And Completing The Mapping Process:

If using automatic matching, built-in checks ensure accuracy. For other approaches, move a small sample of prepared data and manually check for errors. Thorough testing guarantees that the mapping procedure is completed in a high-quality manner.


Product information management (PIM) system integration is one of the most powerful e-commerce techniques overall, and product data mapping is the essential foundation of a successful data management strategy. Looking to maximize the benefits of these strategies? Don’t hesitate to reach out to us.

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