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Data mapping

Data mapping lies at the heart of the modern data privacy program.

Data mapping

Data mapping lies at the heart of the modern data privacy program. Understanding what data mapping is and how it can help your business is the first step.

What is a data map? A data map is a guide that traces the origin and journey of data from point A to point B; a blueprint of how data interconnects within your data ecosystem. It can also be an artifact that shows the relationship and flow of information between data models. 

This data mapping definition leads to another important question: What is the purpose of data mapping? With a dynamic data map, your business has a valuable resource that enables a true understanding of not only where personal data lives in your business, but where it’s going to and from. As a result, you can make better decisions about data risk prioritization and activities. 

Data mapping is an integral part of a privacy program for any business. After all, data mapping allows the tracking and managing personal data across the organization. This is a key step for achieving legal compliance with various privacy laws and regulations. The evolving legal landscape regarding customer data protections - especially under laws such as GDPR, CCPA, and different global privacy regulations - has made these changes even more necessary. A well-executed data map is the basis for a robust data privacy framework, securing sensitive data and fostering trust between businesses and customers. 

Data mapping tools & techniques

In a world surrounded by many different types of personal data–each with unique permissions requirements and consent limitations depending on consumer preferences–no business should overlook the significance of the data mapping process. However: the data discovery process can be deeply complicated and time-consuming. Fortunately, automated data mapping tools & techniques and visual data mapping tools can provide critical insight into the benefits of data and specific conclusions. 

These tools can alleviate manual workload, perform automated tasks, and make privacy program owners more efficient and effective. This is particularly true regarding cumbersome and repetitive surveys occupying manpower hours. Automated data mapping tools infuse this process with speed and accuracy. Ultimately, this leads to significant time and cost savings. 

A blend of expertise and caution in tool selection is essential for a business to gain the full benefits of automation. Different data mapping techniques can serve distinct roles depending on an organization's particular data challenges. For example, visual data mapping tools can bring tremendous clarity to businesses seeking to understand complex set pieces of organized data. Intuitive interfaces can help a business visualize and evaluate data mappings across an array of data types. 

The visual representations and graphical illustrations offered by these tools often simplify even the most complex data structures, thus eliminating the possibility of misunderstanding and ensuring that all team members are operating on the same page. The world of data mapping does not stop at tools; it encompasses all data mapping software. These sophisticated mechanisms present an array of features that transcend standard mapping functionality. Modern software solutions allow businesses to connect their databases to various data sources, enabling streamlining data migration projects.

Challenges in data mapping

In today's digital landscape, organizations handle an unprecedented volume of data, much about their customers. This rich trove of data can provide invaluable insights and drive business growth. However, challenges in data mapping are also common within the data sphere, as privacy and organizational concerns can lead to major headaches. 

Navigating the complex labyrinth of data mapping techniques can be daunting for many entities. The right data mapping technique often depends on the specific business requirements and the type of data being mapped. Traditional manual data mapping methods can be laborious and time-consuming. If inputted manually, it can lead to a high margin for error. On the other hand, automated data mapping techniques may not always meet the specific needs of each company. After all, if your business requires specific customization or flexibility, you may struggle with highly automated techniques. 

The advent of GDPR (General Data Protection Regulation) and the rising global focus on privacy underscore the importance of GDPR data mapping. Your business will need to understand how data flows through an organization, how it is exchanged with third parties, and how this data flow may trigger certain governmental regulations. However, understanding these data processes can be deeply complex. Achieving this understanding demands continuous monitoring, updates to relevant software, and educating the stakeholders involved in the mapping process. Without the right data program, your business may struggle. 

Privacy data mapping presents its challenges. Businesses can no longer approach their data management strategies in silos. Data mapping needs to be deeply integrated within your organization. As such, it must be part of a holistic approach that includes privacy and security. Your business must prove to your customers that you know what data of theirs you have, how it is managed, who has access to it, and what security considerations are in place to properly protect sensitive data. 

In the face of such hurdles, specialized tools for data mapping have emerged as a popular solution. These data mapping software applications automate the data mapping process. In doing so, these tools also ensure accuracy, consistency, and compliance with privacy standards. However, organizations may struggle when selecting the right data mapping tool for their business. Numerous factors must be considered when selecting the right software. This includes a program's functionality, scope, scalability, standard compliance, data governance and quality features, customizable reporting capabilities, and pricing structure. 

Data mapping example

Ketch offers a prime example of data mapping. The Ketch Trust by Design Platform stands out among data mapping tools for privacy. Ketch's advanced data mapping tool aids businesses in system and data discovery, collaboration amongst involved stakeholders, and speed to value in producing results to inform privacy risk decisions. These actions are critical for data mapping and compliance. 

The comprehensive Ketch platform includes infrastructure, applications, and APIs to create a powerful orchestrated system. At its core, Ketch's Trust by Design platform simplifies privacy operations. It harnesses responsibly gathered data for deepened customer engagement and top-line growth, enabling your business to identify deeper data-driven insights. 

Ketch's advanced data mapping capabilities can give your businesses a clearer understanding of your data structure. This enhanced understanding can enable your business to better harness your data, allowing for more clarity in strategic planning and decision-making. In addition, by offering features such as data discovery and classification, Ketch data mapping software enables your business to efficiently locate, classify, and catalog your data. Using such tools paves the way for businesses to build trust with their consumers, emphasizing responsible data handling and facilitating company growth.

Ketch Trust by Design is a coordinated set of applications, APIs, and infrastructure. Deploy once, comply and control everywhere.
Responsive, scalable compliance
Always-on data discovery and flexible consent and rights management for compliance with every data regulation, now and in the future.
Enforce privacy choices everywhere
Respect and enforce people’s privacy choices and rights with granular control over downstream data applications.
Data intelligence and value
Understand your data footprint, and harness responsibly-gathered data to fuel core operations and top-line growth.
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Ketch data mapping gets you insights quickly, informing your privacy program activities.