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    Automate BI Report, Dashboard, and Data Testing with DataQ

    Automate BI testing processes using DataQ to ensure error-free data resulting in trustable and authentic BI reports and insights.

    BI testing is the process of validating BI reports to ensure they are 100% trustable and accurate. BI testing validates the entire lifecycle of reporting - from the data collected at the source to the design and mapping of the BI dashboard. A BI testing solution validates BI reports by verifying reports against its metadata, validating the metadata against the data warehouse, and validating the data warehouse against the data source. This sequence of BI testing covers the entire lifecycle of data - at the source, through the ETL process, and its use in the BI dashboard.

    How It Works

    The Need for Business Intelligence Testing

    Business Intelligence is an integral component of any business today - it involves collecting and analyzing raw data to present meaningful insights, information, results, and predictions. Organizational decision-makers can make informed business decisions based on the information presented by BI reports.

    Since all business decisions are being made based on BI reports, the results of the BI tool must be authentic, accurate, and trustable. The quality and accuracy of BI results, in turn, depend on the validity and accuracy of the raw data presented to it. If the interpretations of the BI tool or the underlying data cannot be trusted, making the right business decision becomes a challenge.

    Enter Business Intelligence Testing - Automate BI testing processes using DataQ to ensure error-free data resulting in trustable and authentic BI reports and insights.



    BI Functional Testing

    This test involves testing the functionality of the report or dashboard created within the BI dashboard and tests the entire BI system. The BI report testing tool:

    • • Validates the dashboard or report design to ensure it meets all the requirements and design specifications.
    • • Performs a prompt check to ensure all filters are categorizing information correctly.
    • • Verifies the accuracy of the data shown in the report (against the source).
    • • Performs a drill-down check to ensure all links and their corresponding data are accurate.
    • • Performs a performance check to ensure the dashboard is rendering within defined SLAs.
    • • Checks for browser compatibility.

    BI functional testing forms the crux of the BI testing process.

    AD HOC Report Testing

    Almost all BI reporting tools have a GUI that allows analysts and users to create reports through a visual interface without any development or a developer. The BI tool automatically generates database queries for the report created based on the dimension and measure being defined on top of the physical data model. Users can create reports by selecting any combination of measure and dimension attributes. This poses a challenge from a testing point of view because the number of possible combinations of dimensions and measures is vast, and these combinations cannot be tested manually.

    A BI tool tests ad hoc reports to:

    • • Check the design of the subject area to ensure it contains related dimensions and measures only.
    • • Validate the mapping between dimension attributes and measures in the subject area to the tables and columns in the database.
    • • Perform a joins check to ensure there are no errors in table joins when a combination of dimension attributes and measures are added to the report.

    BI Security Testing

    Business Intelligence software has authentication requirements and often allows SSO logins. Apart from the application itself, reports and dashboards can have different user access levels. Testing the app's security and individual reports and dashboards is vital to maintaining business integrity.

    BI testing tools test:

    • • The application for reports access security - ensuring the right users have access to the correct reports, subject areas, and dashboards.
    • • Position-based security - ensuring the limits applied by the report creator on users who can read the reports is applied.
    • • SSO security - ensuring login methods are safe and working
    • • Integration security - to ensure all integration points are safe from vulnerabilities of third-party integrations.

    BI Regression Testing

    Users can create their reports and dashboards through visual builders within BI tools, and the software automatically generates database queries. This creates a real-time dependency between report fields and database queries that are not manually created; they are not tracked. Any change to the BI model or database in the future can affect past reports and modify its data affecting the report's authenticity. Regression testing tests existing reports for authenticity by comparing them before and after an upgrade or change in the BI Model.

    BI tools:

    • • Tests report data to ensure the report data post a BI model upgrade or change remains the same.
    • • Check report format and design to ensure the visual layout of the report remains intact post a BI model upgrade or change.
    • • Test prompts to ensure all filters work as expected.
    • • Tests performance to ensure the report is rendering faster or at least at the same speed.
    • • Tests security to ensure the application and reports remain secure to post a BI model upgrade or change.

    BI Stress Testing

    BI tools help maintain and improve the performance of the BI application through stress testing. BI stress testing involves simulating concurrent users and app usage to test the performance and identify any bottlenecks

    A BI testing tool will:

    • • Simulate user behavior and path. It will log in, navigate to a report, apply filters, etc.
    • • Simulates concurrent load by running multiple instances of the above user simulation concurrently.
    • • Test the system with the cache on or off.


    Testing Source Data

    Business data that the BI solution uses enters the company data warehouse from multiple sources. Credit card data, for example, might enter the system through external card readers

    Validating this data right at the source for authenticity is essential to ensure the results of all subsequent processes are authentic. This step is the extract stage of the ETL process, and the BI testing tool tests the data for authenticity at this stage.

    Testing Transformed Data

    The next step in the ETL process is transformation - data from the source is transformed to match the format and schema of the target data warehouse. The BI testing tool tests transformed data to ensure it is formatted accurately to work in the new database.

    Verifying Accurate Data Loading

    Once transformed data is successfully tested, it is loaded onto the business data warehouse, from where the BI tool uses raw data for reports. It is important to validate the loading process, to ensure all data has been loaded and the data mapping within the target DB matches that of the source.

    BI Report Testing

    Once all preceding layers are tested, the BI tool tests the final layer, the reporting dashboard. As long as all other tests are successful, the BI report can be authentic and precise. BI report testing happens as per the categories listed earlier.



    Integrating BI testing and DevOps

    Without the right tools, BI testing becomes an isolated process that requires its resources. This can be unnecessarily time-consuming and costly. By implementing ETL automation software that provides BI testing, you can integrate BI testing with DevOps and create a completely centralized process.

    Testing Multiple Report Visualizations

    Reports that vary in visualization layouts can be challenging to test because the execution order of steps involved in testing could vary. A BI testing automation tool solves this by bypassing the visual layout and testing the underlying data

    Testing High Volumes

    Organizations can have many dashboards and reports, and testing these can become a challenge when done through manual testing methods. Automated BI testing tools solve this by running tests simultaneously and in real-time.

    Testing Report Prompts

    Report prompts need to be tested for two key elements - to ensure they work and to ensure the rules for filtering are correct. Manually testing prompts can be a challenge.


    Ready to Automate BI Testing?

    The only way to ensure your BI reports are 100% accurate is by testing all elements involved - data sources, transformation processes, loading, and the entire BI system itself. This process cannot be skipped if you want to ensure your analysts and decision-makers are making decisions based on the correct information.

    How can you expedite BI testing, cover all four testing stages, and ensure complete accuracy? Through BI testing automation. DataQ can help you incorporate BI testing automation into your DevOps processes. Request a demo to see how exactly it works.