What are the Challenges in Building an Effective Data Map?

With the growing regulations around privacy and security, the significance of understanding data and its movement has increased tremendously. It is important to know where your data resides, where it flows, what type of data is being transferred, and where there are intersections with different data networks.


A comprehensive data map can provide all this information to make it easier for you to keep track of your data. But several companies lack the resources and expertise to build an extensive data map—many abandon such projects midway or end up with a data map that does not cover all aspects of information within the enterprise and has a very narrow scope.


As per the IAPP-FTI Privacy Governance Report 2020, when asked about the most difficult requirement of the California Consumer Privacy Act (CCPA) for organizations to comply with, 32% of the respondents found the law’s data-mapping requirements the hardest to meet. Next came the right to delete, with 23% giving it a very difficult rating.



Data mapping and deletion are found to be the most challenging tasks due to the approach needed to sustain the program and maintain the data map. Though it is comparatively easy to create a data inventory, it is challenging to ensure that it is accurate, comprehensive, and up to date.


While data or information governance will remain distinct for every organization, there are some common challenges in data mapping initiatives that undermine the success of the programs.