Introducing the Data Mapping Cost Calculator

By Morgan Sullivan

Senior Content Marketing Manager

December 8, 20221 min read

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The following is an excerpt from Transcend's Data Mapping Cost Calculator—a new resource aimed at helping privacy leaders prove the value of investing in better privacy tools. The full resource includes:

  • A fully-editable Google Sheet calculator template
  • A simplified web calculator 
  • A PDF guide exploring the cost of your organization’s data mapping workflows, the benefits of automated data mapping, and practical tips for getting the most out of the cost calculator.

Download the full resource here.


As privacy enforcement ramps up and new legislation continues to pass worldwide, comprehensive data visibility has become table stakes for building a privacy program that’s compliant, efficient, and scalable. Data mapping is how your company achieves this visibility—creating much-needed clarity around what data your company holds, how it’s being processed, and how long it’s stored.

A comprehensive, up-to-date data map is the foundation of an effective privacy programgiving your team the critical data they need to complete key compliance activities, like:

  • Fulfilling consumer requests for data access, deletion, and correction
  • Implementing data minimization procedures
  • Creating and maintaining records of processing activities (ROPA), as required by GDPR Article 30
  • Auditing your existing privacy program against new data protection regulations

But as many privacy professionals know, creating and maintaining an accurate data map is often easier said than done, especially when using manual methods. Most companies have tens, if not hundreds, of systems and databases that store or process user data—with new data silos being added on a weekly, or even daily, basis.

This means that manual data maps, which rely on accurate self-reporting and consistent cross-team cooperation, are often out-of-date by the time the initial round of documentation is complete.

That’s why any company looking to ensure a robust compliance stance, one that doesn’t come with a high resource drain, should consider proactively investing in an automated data mapping solution—the benefits can be significant.

The benefits of automated data mapping

  1. Minimizing manual processes frees up finite internal resources—making space for additional headcount and investments into future privacy innovation.
  2. An accurate, up-to-date data map creates a strong foundation for the rest of your privacy program, creating clarity about what data you’re collecting, where it lives, and how it’s being used.
  3. Automation minimizes the risk of manual error and incomplete data visibility.
  4. Increased data visibility supports a faster, more effective response in the event of a cyberattack or data breach.

We created this calculator to help you put hard numbers behind the costs of a manual data mapping process. Use it to identify the true costs of your current workflow and build more support for moving to an automated solution.

Our model considers:

  • The number of data systems within your company
  • How many employees it takes to map the data from each system
  • Hours spent each month auditing your data map to ensure accuracy

As you run the numbers through our calculator, you’ll see how quickly the costs of a manual process add up—influenced both by the size of your data ecosystem, as well as the number of team members involved. 

This guide explores the costs associated with both manual and automated data mapping, explains how the cost calculator works, and offers tips on how to leverage your results throughout your organization. 

You’ll also have access to the fully customizable calculator template, as well as a simplified web calculator for high-level demonstrations. 

Download the full cost calculator here. 

By Morgan Sullivan

Senior Content Marketing Manager

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