Test Data Management: The New Priority
By: Matt Angerer
Test data remains one of the most significant areas of concern in all testing cycles. In fact, it’s such a concern that data management itself is becoming a specialized role within software testing. To achieve higher levels of test automation and efficiency, both reusable test data sets and reusable transactional test data are essential. If you’re not careful, an unplanned client refresh could wreak havoc on your automated regression testing strategy.
There are many challenges associated with handling test data, such as backing up and storing test data after each use. This can be a time-consuming process that slows down overall efficiency. Your business analysts and testers may also be manually creating master data needed to verify specific scenarios. This can also be tedious, but it’s a necessary evil if you want to build stakeholder confidence around more complicated business scenarios.
Results Realized with Tool Advancement
According to the World Quality Report, most organizations are paying careful attention to test data management. From 2013 to 2014, there was a 65 percent decline in managing difficulties from synchronizing multiple versions of test data with multiple test version systems. This decrease was largely attributed to the advancement of test management tools. As the challenges associated with test data size continue to decline (and storage capacity becomes more affordable), the amount of processing power made available will only increase.
Organizations are also assisted by virtualization tools that can help reduce data set complexities. As we know, it is now possible to conduct QA testing against a virtual service, which simplifies and streamlines the resulting information for greater insight into application performance. Many organizations are also focusing on better defining test data, and creating data sets that can be reused more often.
“As Needed” Isn’t Enough
The creation of test data on an “as needed” basis was still the prevalent method 16 percent of the time, according to the World Quality Report. Creation of “as needed” test data slows down the testing cycle and is often unaccounted for during the test planning process. Even with advancements in test data management tools and service virtualization, it’s essential that your team recognizes and prepares for when data needs to be created, changed, or modified to complete a scenario.
According to IBM Data Magazine, the implementation of test data management can help organizations achieve significant cost savings while reducing untested scenarios by as much as 44 percent. Even labor costs were diminished by up to 42 percent with proper data management. As more organizations focus their attention and resources on test data management, they’ll enjoy greater efficiency, shorter time-to-market, and increased profitability.
ResultsPositive, award winning HP Partner of the Year for Sales Growth (2014), Customer Support (2013), PPM (2010, 2011, 2012), and Executive Scorecard (2012), was founded in 2004. ResultsPositive is a leader in IT Software consulting delivering Project & Portfolio Management, Application Transformation, Business Intelligence, Mobility, Application Lifecycle Management, IT Service Management, Business Service Management, Healthcare Transformation, & Cloud and Automation solutions across the entire HP IT Performance Suite for medium sized and Fortune 500 companies. As both an HP Platinum Partner and HP ASMP-S Support Provider, ResultsPositive has the experience, support, and training necessary to turn your complex IT processes into tangible business solutions.
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