Test Data Management plays a crucial role in the testing life cycle. It can be deployed on the premises and in the cloud. It provides integrated business classification, data discovery and policy-driven data for safe use of production data used in test and development environments. The quantity of data generated should be enormous for testing the application. Reports creation contributes to the entire product’s efficiency and also minimizes the time that is spent for processing the data.
A large volume of data and information is required to run the projects. For testing the applications, good amount of data is required for testing techniques such as boundary value analysis etc. Test data plays the role of an additional prerequisite of testing which is perfect for testing the financial and banking services where old data and future data plays a key role in the application’s testing. When the application is tested in the QA environment, business impact is characteristically ignored due to non-compliance of test data guidelines. Applications that are run in test environments do not have any practical implications.
Why Test Data Management?
In order to build and test the applications quickly, test data needs to be procured quickly. Keeping a handle on managing test data is a big challenge, especially when your company needs to do it on an ad hoc basis. A test data management solution when combined with a practical strategy helps the developers and testing teams to be more productive.
Many companies these days are establishing a centralized test data management team to cater all the needs of developers and testers. They are trying to streamline the entire process of acquiring, securing, and provisioning the test data. This group addresses common challenges that companies face while achieving their continuous testing goals, including:
# Availability of test data: Tester’s maximum time is spent waiting for the test data. The non-availability of test data could be the biggest bottleneck in achieving continuous testing goals. Some organizations do spend days or weeks building test data.
# Compliance of test data: Many organizations generate multiple copies of production data on regular basis for testing purposes. They may mask the sensitive data. Developers do anything if they are in rush to get an application completed. Due to this, they grab test data from wherever they can get it.
# Freshness of test data: For each successive test, the data must be refreshed. The used test data should be reset manually without test data management solution. This introduces delays into the testing cycle. Resetting the test data takes as much time as it takes for test data creation.
Some of the positive outcomes of test data management in regard to business success are discussed below briefly:
1. Excellent quality of developed product : Various intelligent techniques and tools based on data analysis strategies help in optimal data coverage used by test data management team. Test data management ensures version controlled data requirements and test data to ensure traceability. It helps in early review of data requirements and detailed analysis which results in early identification of defects and resolution of various queries.
2. Reduce development time: A dedicated data provisioning team provided by the Test data management team having agreed service-level agreements (SLAs) to ensure quick data delivery. Tight schedule of test case designing and execution of cycles helps in reducing development time and release time.
3. Reduce software development cost: Shorten test case designing and data preparation efforts helps in achieving cost savings. Test data management ensures minimized test data storage space leads which results in reduction of overall infrastructure cost.
4. Need less number of resources: Database or file access provided to the TDM team facilitates data privacy and reuse. Test data management professionals have specialized skills, their main focus is on Test Data and access to industry standard tools contribute to the success of overall project. Test Data Management team also works as the system architect which helps them to understand data flow across the systems and provisioning the right data to the organization.
5. Ensure coverage: Successful implementation of Test Data Management in functional testing helps to cover all the possible test scenarios or test cases that need to be the key driving factor for data provisioning in functional testing. It must cover positive scenarios, negative scenarios and boundary conditions.
6. Reduced execution time: Successful implementation of test data management helps in creating single data sets for all of the scenarios. There is no need to create similar test data for similar test cases which helps in reducing the execution time significantly.