Drivers of Enterprise Test Data Management Software Testing Needs
IT enterprises spend 30% of their time & effort in resolving issues related to managing test data, along with high test environment CAPEX & support costs due to data size as much as the production. While there is a lack of defined consistent & repeatable process to provide test data that is ’fit for purpose’ and offers increased test coverage, enterprises that use live data for testing expose themselves to compliance, regulatory, & customer confidence risks:
- 73% of DBA’s can view all data, increasing the risk of a breach
- 50% say data has been compromised or stolen by a malicious insider such as a privileged user
The key industry drivers of TDM, thus, are:
- Managing test data requests
- Data standardisation and synchronization
- Regulations and compliance
- Data privacy, threats, and breaches
- Cost of data storage
Test Data Management Challenges
With inaccurate & inadequate data comes poor testing, results you can’t trust, and a whole lot of wasted time, money, and effort. Some of the key challenges faced in a TDM strategy include:
- Lack of processes to dispose of the test data when not needed
- A huge volume of data for validating the business processes
- Managing the multiple sources & formats of data as required for testing
- Managing the changes required to share data that may affect multiple projects
- Availability of the test data range required for end-to-end testing & coverage for all possible combinations
- Techniques to handle PII related data for being compliant with regulatory bodies such as HIPAA, PCI, GLBA, SOX, etc.
Test data quality management is highly challenging due to data sensitivity, complex infrastructure, heterogeneous data sources and of course, limited availability. The successful outcome of any business testing is driven by the ability and availability of quality as-close-as real ’test data’. A robust Test Data Management system, thus, is fundamental to the success of your data strategy & overall testing strategy.
Cigniti’s Test Data Management Services
At Cigniti, we have implemented robust test data management practices for complex enterprise platforms. With over 200 experts in the Data Governance practice, we have supported organizations in the implementation of solutions for centralized data governance, automated data management, data analysis & identification, and high availability of test data. In addition, the custom accelerators developed by us aid in synthetic test data generation, test data optimization and test harnesses for a wide variety of platforms. The Data Governance experts comprising of Certified DBA’s, SQL & Data Modeling bring in rich experience in tools such as IBM Optim, GridTools, DataMaker, QuerySurge, etc.
Cigniti’s extensive data consulting expertise helps you improve test effectiveness by using accurate test data, institutionalizing test data management process, implementing test data creation & simulation, data masking, data quality management, data subset, data archiving, automating test data management systems, & protecting data sensitivity.
Benefits of Test Data Management System
TDM makes available voluminous, on-demand, fit-for-purpose data that further helps in the management of test data. An intelligent data sub-setting system leads to an optimized infrastructure, storage costs, and total cost of ownership (TCO), and in implementing an effective risk mitigation system. TDM also acts as a centralized tool for data request and distribution, which leads to quicker data provisioning. With an automated test data process, and cloned data subsets resulting in a quicker test data set up, the test cycle time is also reduced. A few benefits of having an established test data management system are:
- Testing effectiveness with accurate data
- Test coverage & test data quality assurance
- Data privacy through data masking techniques
- Risk mitigation through reduced data exposure
- Compliance with regulatory requirements & guidelines such as Basel, PCI, SOX, SEPA, and Solvency
- Coordinated & easy-to-manage test data management process
- Intelligent data sub-setting
- Centralized tool for data request & distribution
- Effective risk mitigation
Test Automation & Test Data Management Services for leading US financial services and brokerage firm
A leading business automation solutions provider wanted to develop a scalable test automation framework and streamline test data management.
Discover how Cigniti’s in-depth knowledge helped enable ease of test data management for the business users and effectively reduced the test life cycle by 50% and test suite maintenance costs by 90%.
Our Key Clients
Cigniti’s Data Governance Practice
Cigniti’s TDM services are designed to meet and satisfy all test data demands of enterprises and Independent Software Vendors (ISVs) for complex IT deployments. The key services offered by Cigniti Data Governance practice include:
- Data profiling & analysis: Identifying & modeling of complex data simulations and business process coverage
- Data governance: Processes & Guidelines for policy, controls, provisioning & techniques
- Data provisioning: Data refresh, masking, subsetting, obfuscation, & retrieval procedures
- Data generation: Automated set up/tear down of synthetic data using off the shelf tools and Cigniti Test Data Generator
- Data environment management: Deployment & Management of data sources
- Data privacy: Employment of techniques such as NULL’ing, Substitution, Shuffling, Number Variance, Gibberish & Encryption/Decryption
Test Data Management Techniques
- NULL’ing Out: Replaces an entire column of data with NULL values
- Masking Data: Replaces existing characters with designated characters or numbers (such as an X), thus disguising data while retaining formatting
- Substitution: Randomly replaces real production data with realistic-looking fake data and preserves formatting
- Shuffling records: Shuffling is similar to substitution except that the substitution data is derived from the column itself
- Number Variance: The algorithm involves modifying each number value in a column by some random percentage of its real value
- Gibberish Generation: Usually fields are just substituted with a random quantity of equivalently sized gibberish or random words. [letters, memos and notes]
- Encryption/ Decryption: Encrypts data into special characters and destroys formatting so that the database is unreadable. Decryption keys revert data back into its readable form
Test Data Management Framework
Cigniti’s effective test data management framework can effectively address the challenges mentioned above and follows these data management best practices:
- In-depth identification of requirement: Utilization of test data requirements that are broadly identified by Cigniti’s deep industry knowledge to identify the source, volume, complexities, data subset policies, & data synthesis needs.
- Holistic TDM Processes: Publishing of clearly defined data management workflows, policies, & procedures for the creation, load, and protection of test data. Defining metrics to measure data health in each environment and use reduced volumes of production data when a full load is not needed.
- Effective TDM Techniques: Usingdata subsets that contribute to effective testing as it enables usage of real-life data sets only on a smaller scale. Use data masking, NULL’ing out, substitution, or encryption techniques to maintain data security by protecting sensitive data.
- Data management Tools & IP: Cigniti’s Test Data Generator tool reduces the manual process of creating test data & minimizes the chance of errors. Promotes reuse of subset criteria and masking policies on multiple and different sources.
- Dedicated Data Governance Center of Excellence: Dedicated resources to manage and accommodate every project’s test data needs. Data Governance Center of Excellence to support the required tools, resources, and expertise.
Cigniti has partnered with vendors such as Neotys, SmartBear, enov8, HP, TestPlant, AppDynamics, Tricentis, and more having expertise in various Test Data Management tools which give our clients the option to choose the right tool based on their requirement and budget.
Our strategic partnerships with multiple Test Data Management tool vendors provide our clients best-in-class software test automation services ensuring continuous testing. This enables our clients to accelerate the release of applications into production and sustain continuous feedback and improvement across the software lifecycle. With the right mix of Commercial and Open Source tools, we bring in the best possible solution to give you a collaborative development and continuous testing environment.
Consult our experienced team of TDM experts for your big data management needs and overcoming your test data management challenges.