Q:

Do you have any suggestions for automated end-to- end testing for a data warehouse implementation? If so, what level of ongoing testing or validation should be performed once the data warehouse is implemented?

A:

Sid Adelman’s Answer: The automated part is usually implemented as part of the sustenance of the data warehouse, post implementation. The automation of testing includes tie-outs that validate the ETL process. These tie-outs look for the number of records going into the ETL process and validates to the number of records loaded. The tie-outs also validate numbers and dollar amounts.

Clay Rehm’s Answer: I personally have not seen or used tools for complete end-to- end automated testing. That is not to say they don’t exist or don’t work. However, in my experience, some testing always requires the review of a human.

There is testing you should be performing on an ongoing basis. You can easily automate many functions or purchase tools that do the following:

  • Cross-footing is a control to assure data accuracy that compares row totals with column totals for accuracy.
  • Control total is a control where totals are obtained on the number of records, documents or dollar amounts.
  • Limit and reasonable tests are controls that compare defined high and low value limits. Reasonable tests determine whether the actual values are reasonable compared to predefined values.

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