3 Reasons Why You Need to Perform ETL Testing

Anytime a piece of software is developed, it must be tested. The ETL process is ultimately a piece of software designed and built by a developer. An ETL process is at the heart of any data-centric system and/or project whether it is a Data Migration or a Data Warehouse. ETL testing is required to ensure that all of the data movement, transformations, and conversions are done correctly.

Why etl testing is required

1.ETL Testing Requirement for Development:

Code Quality: To ensure code quality, ETL testing is required. Without testing there is now way of knowing if the process is built to specification and if it transforms and delivers the expected data. ETL testing ensures that the code developed, delivers data of correct quality.

Project Timelines: The code release cycle will be impacted as the user will not sign off on the code deployment. If ETL testing requirements are not fulfilled, then the end users will notice the data issues. Once the data issues are reported to the developers, they might have to rewrite the code and thus precious development time will be lost.

Root Cause Analysis: It is difficult to know if the data issue is there, because of the data source or due to the data transformation. ETL testing ensures that any errors or data issues introduced by the ETL code is traced and accounted for.

Cost of fixing data: When a data issue is found in production, the cost of fixing it extremely high. ETL testing requirements ensure that the data issues are caught early in the lifecycle of project development and fixed during unit testing or QA. The cost of fixing data issues could be 100X compared to development.

Data Migration: It carries the potential for data loss or data truncation issues. Generally, data migration involves the transfer, lift, and shift of data from a legacy system or database to a new system. The lift and shift involves a lot of data ETL processing to migrate the data successfully over to the new system. Although it sounds relatively simple, the process is complex and time-consuming. There is a high risk for data truncation and data format issues. It may also lead to missing or duplicate data. ETL Testing and data migration testing enables companies to review the data migration process to look for these mistakes in the data movement or transfer. Generally, business analysts do not have information regarding the correctness or the quality of the legacy systems and data migration process. In an age, where data has a substantial value, it is imperative that all data remain intact and stable. If the risk is not shifted early, then any data issues may cause the project to run over time and budget

2. ETL Testing Requirement for Compliance & Risk:

Internal Audit, Legal and Regulatory Requirements: ETL testing requirements are necessary because in most organizations it is mandatory to test every piece of code before releasing into production as ETL is just another type of code. Additionally, when an ETL process is released to production, the proof of ETL testing is required.

Reputation Risk: Regardless of the auditing requirements, the reputation of project managers and company as well ultimately will be tarnished if bad code is put in production. ETL testing is required because the project manager will not be trusted with projects if the project is delivered with data issues.

3. ETL Testing Requirement for Operations:

Data Quality: Poor quality of ETL processes will result into bad data for downstream data users or applications. Companies utilize every asset to improve upon their business strategies. More and more, companies are relying on statistical data, customer information, and business trends to make strategic improvements for their business operations. For some industries, like the healthcare industry, the integrity of this data, particularly with regards to patient information, needs to be upheld to the highest standards. To ensure that this data, which more than likely contains medical information of hundreds to thousands of individuals, is up to quality standards, ETL testing must be in place. ETL testing will be able to identify any data issues in their warehouse or data files. In addition, making decisions in the use of incorrect or corrupted business intelligence will lead to ineffective business strategies that can be costly. Therefore, to ensure that your data is efficiently migrated and warehoused correctly, the strict implementation of ETL testing is recommended.

Big Data: Data is becoming its own form of currency as we enter the age of Big Data. For business owners, collecting analytic and statistical information on their business operations, markets, and client behavior is imperative to identify trends. Once a large amount of data has been gathered and the results have been aggregated, you can then identify new business opportunities and other operational improvements for your business. With this data carrying such a high potential for businesses, storing it correctly becomes a delicate task and one where mistakes can’t be tolerated, particularly when a customer or personal client’s information is at risk. For this reason, data warehousing plays a vital role in the era of Big Data. ETL testing plays an even more critical role, as it is there to ensure that all the data coming into the data warehouse from different sources is extracted, transformed, and loaded correctly and without any issues.

Anytime data moves, the potential of data loss or data truncation issues arises. However, with proper ETL testing, Data Migration Testing and Production Data Monitoring, the occurrence of these mistakes can be prevented. To learn more about our ETL testing, Data Warehouse testing, Data Migration Testing, and Production Monitoring software, contact us today and we’ll get you in touch with one of our iCEDQ experts.