Structure analysis can uncover rules in the data that are crucial for correct extraction and mapping to other data structures. Overlooking this step in the data profiling process can lead to difficulties in moving data. If denormalized data is moved and remains denormalized in the target, it can lead to inaccurate results when aggregating the data for decision support reports.
Structure rules can be violated in source systems without detection due to inaccurate or incomplete data. If they are not uncovered before using or moving the data, they can result in failures on loading data or in subsequent attempts to use the data.
It is important to complete the structure analysis and document the true structure of the data before proceeding to the next step of data profiling: business object data rule analysis. That step is described in the next chapter. Some of the data rules depend on a correct understanding of the structure as it relates to the association of columns to each other in defining a business object.