Empathy is crucial to a human-centred design process such as Design Thinking, and empathy helps design thinkers to set aside his or her own assumptions about the world in order to gain insight into their users and their needs.
In a nutshell, an empathy map is very quick and simple way to represent customer profiles. Keep in mind that this is not as rich as a complete user persona. Feel free to use them in your projects! :)
If you would like to learn more about empathy maps and how to use them, check out Gabriel's Medium post Empathy Map 101: What it is & How to do it.