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Testing BI applications

I would like to know what type of tests are usually done in testing BI, ETL applications.

Even though data warehouses are best implemented using an interative project management methodology, all of the...

tried and true testing disciplines still apply.

Unit, string/integration, user acceptance and production/volume stress testing phases apply for the ETL modules and BI modules you design for your solution.

The focus of the testing is more data intense than operational intense. The goal of the ETL testing is to provide you accounted for every data element you processed from the source and placed in the target. Simple before and after SQL is an effective way to prove row level processing and column level processing for numeric oriented columns (sums, averages) and "code columns" (distinct counts by code values). You still need to explicitly test your ETL logic and BI reporting/dashboard logic, so make sure you have a spec and develop test plans that try to prove you both didn't break the spec (negative) and that you indeed met the spec (positive).


This was last published in January 2005

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