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With the recent launch of OneCloud Data Prep, we thought it would be useful to talk about the What, Who, When, Where, and Why, or the 5W’s of Data Preparation in a blog series.  We will explore each of these questions to better understand the importance of data preparation to the connected enterprise and why OneCloud built a business user-focused application to enhance this critical activity.

Let’s get started with the easiest question “What is Data Preparation”?  Data Preparation is the act of processing and harmonizing data from disparate data sources to provide accurate and reliable information needed for business purposes.  In ETL (Extract, Transform, Load) terms, data preparation is the Transformation step.  Data preparation aligns data to build a relationship between the models of the different systems that need to be connected.  

Data Preparation has two fundamental workstreams - technical transformation and functional transformation.  Technical transformation is the process of aligning the data layout/format between different systems.  Functional transformation builds the bridge to connect those systems.

Let’s consider a real-world example - customer data exists in a Customer Relationship Management (CRM) system such as Salesforce, sales activity data exists in the Revenue Management system.  Product management as well as executive management requires daily updates to gain insight into the health of the business.  An example of data preparation activity would be the mapping of customer record information including sales rep, distribution channel, and territory, to the sales records.   

In our next installment, we’ll explore “Why Data Preparation” is of critical importance.  If you want to learn more about how OneCloud enables more robust and efficient data preparation, please review our datasheet for OneCloud Data Prep.

If you have any questions, we are here to help! Contact us to learn more about OneCloud .