Understanding Data Mapping

Written by Act Data Services, Inc. 1-800-ACT-DATA

According to research by Forrester, the volume of global annual EDI transactions has significantly increased and reached 20 billion. This figure is still on the rise. One of the reasons to explain this is that on the part of the business, using an EDI provider constitutes of major savings. From the financial point of view, the EDI reduces the cost of manual processing and human involvement in various procedures. Expenses such as printing, filing and document retrieval are eliminated altogether thanks to data mapping.


Basically, data mapping involves the proper conversion of data into an electronic data interchange (EDI) format and this process is carried out continuously. For outbound data mapping, it should first be determined how the information received would be classified by the business or accounting software. The data would then need to be properly arrange and formatted using appropriate means so that it conforms to EDI standards and any requirement set by the trading partner.

Moreover, once the inbound data is received, it would then be converted to a format that would be readable by your business or accounting software. EDI software maps inbound EDI data into numerous destinations types and can be formatted to render either through applications, readable documents, XML databases or specific layouts such as delimited records or fixed length. A combination of all these is also possible. The direct mapping thus effectively contributes to eliminating the need for people to involve in data entry and allows for full data and system integration.

ACT Data Services provide data mapping services and EDI compliance to various industry and distributor norms.

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