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TEST DATA MANAGEMENT & PRIVACY

Effective Test Data Management is an imperative for organisations that is often not given the priority that it requires; the requirements of Application testing for accuracy, reliability and quality, combined with the essential need for data privacy protection.

As information demands continue to grow, the need to address this becomes more challenging. For every new IT project comes the daunting task of locating information and validating its relationship across heterogeneous systems. Organizations suffer from not being able to get the right information at the right time. Just as information is often times created in the context of specific projects and applications, so are the tools that understand and control the information. Given today's enterprise landscape and complex IT environments, this is an major challenge without automation.

Corporate reputation in the commercial market place represents a considerable investment of time and resource; it is often a competitive differentiator and in many cases has real net worth on the balance sheet. In today's highly sensitive times a breach of client or commercially sensitive data can have devastating consequences on that reputation, causing customers to lose faith and transfer their business to our fiercest rivals. The result impacts on revenues and share prices can be adversely affected, as public perceptions can be difficult to change once negatively impacted. On top of this commercial risk, we also have to contend with every greater regulation around the use and security of Personal client data, and this requires us to re-evaluate our business practices and certainly in respect of test data, the traditional use of Production data is no longer possible without having a process in place to both identify and then mask/obfuscate the sensitive data components.

Application Data Chart

Ensuring that data privacy is a key requirement of all testing regimes and our sophisticated data masking solution provides the best method for doing this. It will allow you to mask and transform sensitive test data as part of your effort to avoid exposing critical business data. It provides masking techniques including using arithmetic expressions, sub-strings, random or sequential number generation, data aging, and more. Most importantly, you can propagate masked values from a parent table to related tables at all levels essential for maintaining the referential integrity of the data.

Data Governance can provide the right solution, which will allow you to:

         
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Create targeted, right-sized test environments for development, testing, QA and training maintaining referential integrity, instead of just cloning production environments.

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Enables testing, QA, development or training in an efficient, repeatable, accurate and cost-effective manner

  • Subset capabilities to create realistic and manageable test databases
  • Provide complete business objects
  • Federate object support across enterprise data stores
  • Quickly refresh test environments
  • Edit data to create targeted test cases
  • Compare ‘before' and ‘after' images of the test data
  • Improve test coverage and quality
  • Speed application development
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Automation of creation of test databases makes the process more manageable and timely, speeding the testing process and ensuring up to date test data.

   
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Mask (de-identify) data to protect privacy

  • Create structurally similar but inauthentic version of data
  • Deny opportunity to reverse engineer masked data
  • Maintain integrity of fields for credit card numbers, dates of birth, National Insurance numbers, phone numbers or addresses
   

DGS can help you achieve the business benefits you need by:

         
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More time for testing

In many organizations, 30-40% of test script execution is spent on manufacturing new test data. Test Data Management will reduce the amount of time spent creating new data thereby allowing for the execution of more tests.

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Increase data quality

by refreshing test data from a baseline, which will minimize the amount of manual intervention currently required when creating new test data reducing triaging efforts and increasing test repeatability.

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Reduce data dependencies across test sets

Multiple test sets often use the same data, but different tests can negatively impact other tests using the same data. Test Data Management allows for the creation of an unlimited number of test data sets and can create unique IDs each time to ensue clean data is used when testing.

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Enforce data ownership

Often the “honor system” and spreadsheets are used to control test data ownership. Test Data Management offers role driven security to support level segmentation of the development and testing teams.

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Reduce cost

by maximising allocated disk space, catching errors earlier in the testing cycle and shifting errors from production to test.

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Click to access the IBM Infosphere Optim PDF download to read how it has helped other companies to improve their Test Data Management.

 
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