In today’s constantly connected world, data is a valuable currency. Businesses use software solutions and analytics tool to extract valuable insight from the information they possess. Test data management, therefore, assumes immense importance for every enterprise. In order to accurately assess the capability of a software solution, you need to feed it some data. This information must mimic the actual data that will be provided in the actual use case scenario. This is necessary as conducting valid examinations, otherwise will be impossible. If generic sets are used in testing then issues can arise when the application is operationalized. Data management services experts say that efficient handling of test data helps organizations access an effective solution that provides productive output. The following tips will help enterprises improve their strategy for managing test data.
1. Create An Inventory Of Your Data
When evaluating an application, you need to provide elements which are similar to the actual items. Now, using actual production data is not practical as it can expose valuable information to unauthorized users. We will be explaining how actual information can be used for testing later on in this post. In this point, we are discussing how businesses must locate the items for the evaluation process of a software. Manually identifying the test datasets can be cumbersome, inefficient, and time-consuming. The best way is to create an inventory of all the information that your organization possesses. Data in numerous formats is spread across different systems within an enterprise. Making an inventory gives you a clear knowledge of where the information resides within your storage infrastructure. It will also be helpful in easily identifying the category which will contain the information needed for testing a solution.
2. Choose Data From Various Subsets
As mentioned before the elements used for evaluation must resemble the items that will be processed after deployment. In order to create an efficient testing environment, it is necessary to collect information residing in various subsets. This will be helpful in recreating an accurate simulation of the actual production environment. In order to create improved testing conditions, collect suggestions from various sections of the corporation and ask them to provide data input. You can ask stakeholders like data architects, database administrators, and tool experts to provide you with helpful insight. This will be useful in identifying the conditions for test data governance and other key metrics.
3. Secure Critical Business Information Through Masking
We discussed earlier that in some situations it becomes necessary to use actual elements for testing. In such scenarios, the security of sensitive items must be maintained. Any element which contains personally identifiable information must not be made available to unauthorized users. The development and testing team has no business accessing such information. Moreover, if the elements are exposed to them, it may be considered as a breach of data protection regulations like GDPR. The best way to avoid such hassles and conduct the assessment is by masking the datasets. It will shield any detail that can potentially identify a specific person from exposure. You must enlist the services of security experts while setting up your evaluation infrastructure. This will keep your test data management procedure secure and in compliance with privacy laws.
4. Use Automation To Streamline The Process
How do you ensure that testing takes place in an optimized environment with no wastage of storage and other valuable resources? The answer is, through automation. Using manual methods can generate dependencies and create room for error. It is, therefore, necessary to use data virtualization and use automation tools. There are various options which you can use to automate the processes of data generation, scripting, masking, and provisioning. This will be helpful in delivering even large datasets quickly to testing teams. Virtual data can also be provisioned quickly does not consume as much space as physical data would have. There are automated solutions available for comparing baseline test data with the output obtained from sequential testing. You can also use reporting tools which will enable you to vire test cases and track the coverage of the evaluations. It will be pertinent to consult an expert to define the optimal level of automation which will help your organization save money, time, and other key resources.
5. Encourage Self-service Among Testers For Test Data Provisioning
Your tester must be able to provision the required environment without needing to approach the administrator. It will be sensible to automate various levels of the program which empowers evaluators to provision data through self-service. An integrated system which provides synchronized versions of the necessary elements to testers will be an ideal solution. It will constantly refresh the information so that it resembles the latest production conditions. Such a system will also reverse the changes to restore an item to its original state after destructive testing which would have altered the element’s condition. When testing composite applications, the system will synchronize the information from various sources to the exact same point in time.
6. Review The Requirements Periodically
The data requirements of an organization are affected by changes in business conditions or technological developments. The testing data requirements will also change regularly. For instance, the creation of a new data warehouse will force you to make the relevant changes in the quality evaluation system. You need to identify the specific requirements of your testing program based on test cases and remember that an element can be used in one or many applications.
Test data management is essential for creating and implementing high-quality solutions. These tips will help you streamline the acquisition of test data and ensure the program runs in a secure environment