Test Data Management
Inadequate test data costs time and money
Quality of IT solutions deployed to production is dictated by the quality and effectiveness of the testing undertaken and is governed by the quality and effectiveness of the data used in testing.
The most effective testing usually takes place towards the end of any development cycle, typically during high volume performance and acceptance or beta testing. That is when test data being used most closely resemble live data and consequently more defects are identified.
The later in the development cycle a defect is found, the longer before work can be started to fix it.
While the quality of IT solutions reaching production should be a primary concern for all businesses, the cost of resolving any defects is also significant. The cost to resolve defects discovered can increase exponentially up to 5 times per development stage.
The challenge is to find the defects earlier in the development cycle to save time and cost.
Having the right data in the right place at the right time is critical for effective testing throughout the development process.The obvious source for truly representative and high quality test data is the production data itself, but the following challenges must be overcome:
- the time it takes to clone live data, with potential live service impacts
- overbearing operational governance and data protection constraints
- keeping data up-to-date and rewinding data for test re-runs, with significant associated storage volumes
- team coordination challenges, particularly with conflicting operational support priorities.
- copy production data has limited value during Coding and Unit Testing, when highly customised data is required to ensure every exception case is proven. Nonetheless many of the same issues apply managing this data.
The answer is to establish a dedicated Test Data Management service.
Aside from the extended data functionality and security, the benefits this delivers for customers include:
- up to 30% data management cost savings, partly due to the elimination of data redundancy
- a single point-of-contact for all test data requests
- consistent, up-to-date, production-quality test data
- scalable test data on-demand
- self-service test data functionality.
Most customers experience faster deployment lifecycles (up to 15%), partly due to rapid provisioning of full-scale virtual data. Extensive management features (such as access governance, rapid resource recycling and centralised masking) add considerable benefits, and even more value can be realised via software license optimisation.
ECS has a long tradition of working with blue chip companies to get the most out of their data, supplying both on-site and remote services tailored to meet the individual needs of each client. As a partner of all the leading DBMS vendors ECS is well placed to provide the best impartial advice and guidance for management of the test data estate.
ECS can help you define your Test Data Management service and set up the service in-house or to choose the right service provider. ECS can also deliver the tailored service to you on-site or remotely.