Big data present a mix of challenges and opportunities for many businesses worldwide. One of the top trends now is the rapid growth of the data mapping and data integration market.
The demand for data mapping tools and software applications has grown greatly as companies of all sizes can gain significant financial benefits and added value.
Terms like graphical, Excel, EDI, XML data mapping, cloud based and web-based data mapper and etc. are becoming more and more popular in the business intelligence world.
On this page:
- What is data mapping? Definition and examples.
- List of 5 best data mapping software (including free and open source tools).
What is data mapping?
Data mapping ( known also as schema mapping), is an integral part of each data integration process. The data mapping process means moving data from a field in a given file to another field in a second file.
A simple example of data mapping is moving the value from an ‘address’ field in a customer database to a ‘customer address’ field in a sales department database.
Another typical example is when one business organization merges with another one. Obviously, the data for both sets of customers, processes etc. must be merged into one new database. This is where data mapping comes to help.
Nowadays, there is a great range of data mapping tools and software solutions available in the market. They vary from simple mapping software to comprehensive ETL tools for data warehouses.
Best Data Mapping Tools and Software Solutions
Data mapping has enormous advantages for organizations. From allowing them to track customer trends in real time to identify root causes, there are many ways your business can benefit from mapping. Thus you need reliable data mapping software solutions.
Here is a list of some of the best mapping tools:
1. Pentaho – Pentaho Data Integration
Pentaho Data Integration is a very popular ETL tool run by Kettle. The Platform has a smart and powerful architecture which is absolutely easy to use and extremally flexible. It allows you to use variables for almost about everything.
You can lead data transformations very quickly, and create reports with ease. One of the greatest features is that the tool can take inputs from all formats, e.g. CSV, Excel, text, JSON, Hadoop, etc. Pentaho Data Integration enables you to ingest, blend, map, cleanse and diverse data from any source.
Some of the best features and benefits:
- Integrate all data – intuitive drag-and-drop data mapping and integration with data connectivity including from flat files and RDBMS to Hadoop and beyond.
- No coding required – the intuitive tool speeds up the deployment of big data analytics by up to 15 times in comparison with hand-coding techniques.
- Allows you to visually explore data at every step of the data pipeline. You can access any analytics, including charts, visualizations, and reporting, and etc.
- Accelerate the data pipeline – go beyond just an ETL tool to scalable and flexible data flows management.
Cons: Comparing to the other best and most popular ETL tools, this Pentaho has a slow performance rate. The other important con is the absence of the debugging facility.
2. Talend Data Integration
When it comes to the good and cheap data mapping tools, Talend Data Integration definitely has a place here. It offers flexibility to extend functional features. The tool provides a simple design interface and open source components.
It can work with almost all formats like XML, Excel, JSON, CSV or what ever you want.
The tool is broadly used and worldwide famous, so you can find support online easily. This includes their official support forums and a knowledge base.
Features and benefits:
- Open and scalable architecture that responds faster to business requests.
- Deploy data integration jobs 10 times faster than hand coding.
- Cost effective way to connect data.
- Free Open Source License.
- Full-featured Data Management Platform.
Cons: larger jobs get slow, sometimes difficult to manage the complexity.
3. IBM InfoSphere DataStage
When it comes to worldwide famous and data mapping tools and software solutions for large scale enterprises, IBM InfoSphere DataStage has it all.
It is a very comprehensive software tool – starting from ETL, MDM, DQ, Metadata management and etc. The whole suite of data integration and mapping features to fit every need. Their technical support is quite good and able to solve quickly issues in less than one day.
IBM InfoSphere DataStage a premier ETL platform able to map and integrate data across multiple systems, support expensive metadata management and scalable, big data enterprise connectivity.
Features and benefits:
- Flexible mapping and integration of heterogeneous data, including big data at rest (Hadoop-based) or big data in motion (stream-based), on both distributed and mainframe platforms.
- Applies workload and business rules and integrates near real-time data.
- Deploys on-premises or in the cloud
- Provide JSON support and a new JDBC connector.
- Improves enterprise ETL efficiency.
- Very powerful ETL platform that supports the collection, integration, and transformation of structured and large volumes of data.
Cons: no abstraction between logical and physical objects.
4. Adeptia Integration Suite (AIS)
If you are searching for affordable industry leading data mapping tools and integration software, Adeptia Integration Suite (AIS) is worth to consider. It is one of the most versatile and comprehensive integration software platforms on the market with rich data mapping capabilities.
The program allows you to take almost any digit of input documents and with a few mapping activities, you can create a common output for all your inputs.
It ensures efficient B2B integration process and the data connections can be a wide range of types, including files, APS, transactional records, or even simple forms.
Features and benefits:
- You pay for only the integration functionality you need.
- No coding necessary and very user-friendly interfaces.
- Web-based Data Mapper – a graphical tool that enables rapid visual specification of data translation and complex business rules in easy to understand English rather than code.
- Reducing ongoing operational costs by optimizing your entire IT environment.
- On-premises and cloud deployment.
- Rich data mapping and transformation capabilities. Data conversion and migration.
- Data Mapping rules are easy to specify in Adeptia.
- Data Flow Designer and much more.
Cons: Lack documentation on how to customize logs that get created.
5. Altova MapForce Platform
One more of the best affordable any-to-any data mapping tools with multiple automation options.
Altova MapForce is an award-winning graphical data mapping and integration software solution that maps data between any combination of XML, database, Excel, JSON, EDI, XBRL, flat file, and/or Web service.
You can install MapForce Platform very easily and quickly. It is a much cheap (lower cost) and lower risk software solution than other “big iron” data integration tools. In addition, the platform is very customizable for a variety of requirements and needs.
Features and benefits:
- Affordable and cheaper data mapping software.
- Many different options for managing and visualizing individual mappings and complicated mapping projects.
- Any-to-any, any-to-many, and chained data mappings.
- Automated mapping execution by MapForce Server – it can be executed by MapForce Server to automate business processes that require repetitive data transformations.
- XML, database, Excel, JSON, XBRL, EDI mapping.
- SQL statements to update or insert databases AND ETC.
Data mapping tools and software solution are there to help you utilize information in a variety of values and formats.
Data mapping has a range of benefits for the organizations such as allowing them to digest large amounts of information in no time, tracking customer trends in real time, identifying root causes (through root cause analysis tools), identifying different connections, lowering costs for business operations and many many other benefits.
Choosing the best data mapping software depends on your requirements, business processes, and needs. Still, any effective solution has to provide a comprehensive range of features as advanced data visualization capabilities, easy to use, fully customizable platform, compatibility with a large number of databases, and reports available at any time.
Nowadays, the data integration market has it all, so choose your best solution wisely with attention to detail.
Silvia Vylcheva has more than 10 years of experience in the digital marketing world – which gave her a wide business acumen and the ability to identify and understand different customer needs.
Silvia has a passion and knowledge in different business and marketing areas such as inbound methodology, data intelligence, competition research and more.