How do you prepare test data for testing

Testing is such a process that actually produces and even consumes a lot of data in the first place.

The whole data testing process exaggerates the initial conditions that are involved in a test and even represents the channels through which the tester influences the software.

It is even a very important part of a lot of functional testing scenarios.

The field of software development is on a constant rampage of change where it’s becoming really hard for companies to stay relevant anymore.

Given any kind of scenario, the need is for the companies to have a proper testing strategy in place that has components like Test Data Management (TDM).

Why is test data important?

Test data could be referred to as the common input that is given to a software program. It’s known to represent the data that affects (or is affected) by the execution of a specific module in the repository.

A lot of times, some data could be used for positive testing or to verify that a set of input towards a given function provides an expected result.

And a few other times, other data could also be used for negative testing for the sake of understanding the ability and allowance of a program to handle unexpected input.

Even poorly designed testing data could not test all the possible test scenarios that could hamper the quality of the software.

Generation of test data for testing

Depending on the entire testing environment that you have, you might have to create the test data or just identify a very suitable test data for the sake of creating your test cases.

Usually, the test data could be created aligned with the case which it could be used for.

Test data could be generated in a few ways:

  • It could be generated manually.
  • It could be generated by producing a mass copy of data from the production to the testing environment.
  • It could be automated using the test data generation tools.

Usually, the sample data should just be generated before you start the execution of the test as it’s slightly difficult to handle the entire test data management otherwise.

As in a lot of testing environments that create the test data, it takes a lot of steps which is time-consuming.

Types of Test data

Ideal test data consists of the data sets that have all the combinations of your data to prevent any defects. The test data could be classified into the following types:

Blank Data Test data: This type of test data refers to all those files that actually don’t have any data within. And since there is no input involved, it even verifies that the application is handling all such exceptions to throw out the errors.

Valid Test data: These consist of the files that are valid and could even be supported by the entire application. These even given out the expected output when they are given in as inputs.

Invalid Test data: It consists of the unsupported file formats which actually execute for the sake of seeing that application which is handling all the data properly without even breaking.

To check the boundary conditions: This includes all such data which actually has all the possible combinations of the boundary values. These values basically include every value that are enough to be handled by the application.

Testing the data for performance

Performance data testing allows you to perform a test on how fast the system responds under a particular amount of workload.
The entire goal of this testing is to eliminate the bottlenecks than to debug your systems.

One of the most important aspects of performance testing is that it sets the sample data that is used very close to real data that is utilized while the production of the data.

And if you want to know how to obtain the data, the simple answer is to get it from the customers.

Customers are the ones that could provide some data which they already have. However, if they don’t have this data, they can even help you out by giving the feedback you need about how the real-world data could look like.

If you are a testing project, you can even copy the data from the whole production environment and place it on a testing bed. It is one of the best practices to scramble sensitive data like SSN, Credit Card numbers and bank details etc.