Business Intelligence technologies are special systems for receiving, analyzing, and displaying data in a format that is most convenient for analytics. The basic purpose of these systems is to help business processes to make correct strategic decisions.
BI Solutions Technology
Nowadays, there are a lot of BI solutions that are used by QA companies one way or another. All of them differ in the level of complexity, functional set, and so on. However, each of them contains 3 blocks:
- Block of unloading and transformation of information;
- Data warehouse (DWH);
- Block for the development of reporting and data visualization.
There can be many sources of data including JSON files that contain data from servers in text format. This format is extremely handy, especially when it comes to providing information about users’ behavior on a website. Also, marketing researches and monitoring can be the source of data as well.
Manual on How to Test DWH/BI Systems Correctly
Of course, you can make the right decision based on the received information, only if this information doesn’t have any bags. To follow this in real life, you have to perform comprehensive testing of such systems.
Let’s see how to do it right.
Stage 1 Testing of the ETL Process
The ETL procedure (Extract, Transform, Load) is a special stage to extract, edit, and upload data. The basic objective of any QA engineer is to test the correctness of data occurrence, mapping and displaying.
What issues can such testing solve?
- Ensure that information isn’t lost.
- Check the current state of a key and values in the received file.
- Test the correctness of fixing the user session processing parameters.
- Test the correctness of using SQL parameters.
- Analyze the correctness of performed evaluations.
- Elimination of duplicate data.
Stage 2 Auditing
A tester should check the way how exactly the data is exported and entered into the report, and also checks the convenience of disposing of the generated reports. At this stage, it is also imperative to test so that all dates, time, and currency used in reports exactly match the requests of the target audience.
Stage 3 – Performance Tests, Load Tests
As the company grows, the nominal volumes of incoming information will increase exceedingly. It is crucial to understand that software can withstand development and record limits of its performance.
What Are the Challenges of DWH/BI Testing?
Unfortunately, at this moment, there’s no clearly documented methodology for testing the data. Any project is a unique task that needs to be tested with a specific set of inputs and external requirements.
The range of common problems can be the following:
- The complexity of architecture and business processes of BI solutions;
- A lot of unequal data;
- Constantly changing sources of information;
- Variable business requests.
Criteria for Selecting a QA Team for Testing DWH / BI Systems
To qualitatively test data processing and storage, QA engineer has to:
- Understand how the process of entering information and its storage is specifically built;
- Be experienced with large volumes of databases;
- Understand the logic of ETL processes;
- Be able to adjust the testing methodology to the incoming dynamic requests;
- Be able to communicate with business clients in their “language”.