Efficient test data management

How you make your test data management a reliable, safe and efficient system despite global scaling of your test departments

The global scaling of your test departments presents your test data management with rather complex challenges:

  • How can you achieve resource-saving planning of your tests and avoid redundant testing?
  • How can you make sure your test data can be found quickly and accurately at every site?
  • What can you do to prevent a loss of sensitive data or control over their access privileges in case consistently high data volumes force you to switch to external systems?
  • How can you make sure that your quality endeavors are not afflicted with the global scaling of your testing departments?
  • How can you shape precise, reliable and resource-saving reporting processes?

Learn step by step how you can meet all these demands for your test data management in the same way international corporations do it who have been working with us for decades.

Efficient planning and resource-saving execution of your tests through global availability of test data

The test departments of your global enterprise are located at various sites across the globe. If you test your product line at more than one site, the sites involved will usually be furnished with the same testing capacities.

The global distribution of your test departments carries the risk that your employees on the one hand execute tests redundantly while being unable to schedule tests for the desired time on the other. As a result, your test procedures falter and existing resources are not adequately utilized.

If you want to avoid this situation, we recommend that you make your test data available to all your sites across the world as a first step. Your employees can find free resources in the planning in no time and can execute tests at the required time. And what is more, you also prevent redundant testing as your employees can see at all times what tests were executed already along with the associated results.

Comprehensive data storage for contextual analyses

Especially descriptive meta data of test data are crucial for the efficiency of your test data management system. Apart from mere raw data in the measurement series, you also need meaningful meta data, among others to answer the following important questions:

  • Which project, which customer, which order, which unit under test, which test bed, which sensors (incl. calibration information) etc. were used?
  • Who executed the test at what time and why?
  • Which pieces of information were used for parameterization and what are the key figures?

Even administrative meta data may be of importance because you can use them to control access to sensitive information (e.g. "rating as military").

Beyond this, your test data management system should supply you with exhaustive, context-related data storage capabilities to enable precise traceability and reproducibility of your tests. That is the only way for you to meet current quality requirements as many companies or standards – like ISO 17025 – impose them.

A powerful search function to achieve maximum efficiency for your test data management

That you make your processes easier if all your test departments can – according to their individual rights - access the entire test data certainly is no news to you. Once you've accomplished this first step, though, the next challenge is already waiting for you: how can you and your team quickly find exactly the particular test data you are looking for?

In the first place, it is a powerful search function that makes the global availability of your test data a valuable asset for your test departments. If your employees are unable or have to go through a lot of trouble to find relevant data, they lose valuable time they should rather have to plan, execute and analyze their tests.

What is it that makes a powerful search function for your test data management? For once, your search function should provide for full text search as well as meta data search.

On the other hand, you need a uniform identifier for identical data so you can link data from different departments or data silos. An example: the name of the unit under test must be the same in production and in testing. At this very point, where it is all about data quality, your company can profit significantly from a powerful tool.

Increased performance for your test data management through powerful, external systems without losing control of your data and their safety

Before you can analyze the test data you produce in executing your tests, you'll often need to harmonize them because some measurement systems generate non-uniform formats or data structures. But what can you do if your system is supposed to continuously analyze large amounts of data, as e.g. in endurance testing?

You outsource these tasks to external and powerful systems. Take care, though, that your test data management system at all times knows the whereabouts of your data and which data need to be protected by limiting access rights, e.g. "read-only" permission.

Here, the link to the original data must be kept up persistently and the data need to be protected against manipulation. Your test data management system with its roles and rights management should even limit the read access to the original data to authorized persons.

That gets us to the most sensitive task of your test data management: particularly in the interests of your quality endeavors it is essential that you can rely on your test data management when it comes to the administration of users and rights. For reasons of safety and compliance, the system should make sure that only adequately qualified personnel can carry out the upcoming tasks, e.g. an electronic inspection or diagnosis.

Moreover, your test data management system is required not only to restrict manipulative access to your data but also read access to specifically dedicated user groups.

Reliable and efficient report generation and automation with a suitable test data management system

Finally, your test data management system should support you at the end of every test execution in preparing a meaningful report. You'll succeed best if your test data management provides you with ready-made templates and automatically completes them with required data like numerical values, graphs, tables, comments and images.

Your reporting will be even more efficient when you use a test data management system that supports you in choosing the right template and takes charge of distributing your reports to all your sites and authorized employees.

In case your report turns out to be incorrect in the aftermath and must not be used, you should be able to lock it immediately. When you create a new report, though, the reference to the original report should always be maintained.

This powerful and proven test data management system fulfills all the core purposes described above

Well, you've learned about some of our approved methods that we've been using for decades to cope with the increasingly complex requirements companies with many global test departments impose on test data management.

You are interested in a high-performance test data management system that reliably covers all the issues described above and enables efficient, safe and precise working for your global test departments? Click here for more details on Werum's HyperTest® Boost.

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