How To Map Data From Existing Legacy Systems For Your New Digital Platform

Digital Platform Part 4 Of 10

In parts 1 and 2 of this series we looked at what a Digital Platform is and how one would architect such a system . In part 3, we examined how to define a Data Model for your Digital Platform. The next step is to map out where the information is in your existing legacy systems that you have included in your Data Model.

How To Map Data

The Data Mapping process is often a complex one, involving specialists in business functions and IT from across your organisation. It is common to discover multiple sources of data, some of which may conflict (more on cleansing data later on). Part of the mapping exercise is to create a view of the rules for deciding which set of data is definitive when data from different systems conflicts!

how to map data

User Mapping And Technical Mapping

Data Mapping often comprises of two processes, usually done in sequence. User Mapping involves using a legacy system and recording where information from the Data Model can be found in the user interface of the legacy system. This usually involves filling in a document and taking screenshots as examples.

This User Mapping document acts as a shared understanding of what information will become part of the Digital Platform Data Model.

Technical Mapping usually happens next. This data mapping process consist of taking the User Mapping documents and interrogating the legacy systems from a technical perspective. This involves technical staff, such as computer programmers and database specialists, using APIs and database queries to discover how to access and modify the data specified in the User Mapping document.

The purpose of the Technical Mapping documents is to discover enough information to allow each Digital Adapter to be created later on. The Digital Adapters are the components that retrieve and update information in legacy systems at the request of the Data Broker in the Digital Platform (see article 2 in this series).

You can download a short example of a Data Map here that contains User Mapping and Technical Mapping information.

Next Steps

Now that we have defined our goals, system architecture, data model and we have mapped out how to get access to the data we require, we should consider cleansing the data in the legacy systems. You can find out more information on this, in the next blog in this series. For more insight on any of the topics covered in any of the articles in this series, please feel free to contact us.

Nick McKenna
Since 2004, Nick McKenna, BSc, MBCS Biography has been the CEO of McKenna Consultants. McKenna Consultants is a bespoke software development based in North Yorkshire, specialising in Cloud development, mobile App development, progressive web App development, systems integration and the Internet of Things development. Nick also holds a First Class Degree in Computer Science (BSc) and wrote his first computer program at the age of nine, on a BBC Micro Model B computer. For the last 21 years, Nick has been a professional computer programmer and software architecture. Nick’s technical expertise includes; Net Core, C#, Microsoft Azure, Asp.Net, RESTful web services, eProcurement, Swift, iOS mobile development, Java, Android mobile development, C++, Internet Of Things and more. In addition, Nick is experienced in Agile coaching, training and consultancy, applying modern Agile management techniques to marketing and running McKenna Consultants, as well as the development of software for clients. Nick is a Certified Enterprise Coach (Scrum Alliance), SAFe Program Consultant (SAI), Certified LeSS Practitioner (LeSS) and Certified Scrum@Scale Practitioner. Outside the office, Nick is a professional scuba diver and he holds the rank of Black Belt 5th Dan in Karate.