Monday, November 20

4 Frequently Asked Questions About Data Testing

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Data testing is a form of technical investigation that tries to determine if data being collected is being done according to a set of pre-determined standards. This might include testing data management processes to ensure correct data mapping, ACID properties, data integrity, and business rule conformity. The mapping process must be checked to make sure that the back end is consistent with the front end and the intended actions of any applications.

The ACID properties validation stands for atomicity, consistency, isolation and durability. Atomicity in turn means that a whole transaction, and not just a part has to pass. Consistency refers to the data remaining stable and isolation refers to the situations where there are multiple transactions that must follow in sequence. Durability means that if a successful transaction can withstand any external impact or factor, even a loss of power, and still maintain a consistent result.

1. How does data testing work?

Data tests look at the integrity of the data to ensure that data collected in one area matches up with all the areas that it may appear in later. That means data shared on one screen should appear the same if it is brought up on another screen, or by another user.

Another form of data testing is business rule conformity. This type of functional testing service involves looking at some of the more complex components like relational constraints, triggers, stored procedures, etc. Whatever data testing is involved, it is important for all data testers to develop appropriate queries to validate all of these complex objects.

2. How do you test data?

Data and database testing follow the general rules of testing for any other application. That includes getting the testing environment ready, carrying out the test, checking test results, validation against expected results, and then reporting the data test findings. Once you have these steps ready in a plan you are ready to begin testing your data. Then, bring in your data and start the test. In testing data, you will likely be checking the transactions, data base schema, triggers, stored procedures and field constraints. Each of these elements has its own basic requirements as well.

For example, transactions must be tested to ensure that they meet the ACID properties that include atomicity, consistency, isolation and durability. Every action a database performs needs to be tested, ensuring they adhere to these ACID principles. The database schema is a formal definition that shows how data is going to be organized into a database.

3. How do you test the schema?

To test the schema means looking at requirements that are based on how the database operates. You must check the primary keys, foreign keys, field names and fields with a constraint that certain values can or cannot be inserted. There are specialized tools to test data schema. You also need to test triggers because it’s important to know that when a certain event takes places on a certain table, a piece of code (a trigger) can be auto-instructed to be executed. This is done by executing a SQL query embedded in the trigger independently first and record the result.

4. Why is data testing important?

Data testing is important to ensure that data and data bases are secure and up to date. It is a useful tool for any company that wants to ensure that its data collection is accurate and consistent with their intended objectives. Data testing also help to prevent data bottlenecks from arising and if they happen, to find ways to resolve them quickly. Data testing is far cheaper than finding out later that the data has become outdated or corrupted in some way.

The possibility of data error has increased because our processes and applications are more complex today. And because data is being accessed through individual sources and mobile devices. Data testing may not resolve all of your data management problems, but it can help limit the damage.

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Alexandra Kish

Staff writer / Computer nerd / Occasional cosplayer

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