There is not one industry where testing of BI reports is more important than in others. ALL industries can benefit from BI testing, however there are certain types of organizations that recognize the value of testing more so than others.
In our experience, organizations that have a mature Business Analytics focus and understand the benefits of Continuous Integration understand the value of testing and share the following qualities:
- Medium to large companies that have an established BICC or Business Analytics Center of Excellence and need to enforce the standards they have developed across a large base of users.
- Smaller companies with limited resources and a small IT/BI/Cognos Admin team. For these companies, proactive testing and notification can be a second set of eyes to give them a leg up on the competition.
- Companies with a culture of testing. In other words, some organizations have well-developed processes for project management which require testing as an integral part of every project as defined by Project Management Office standards. These companies budget time and dollars for testing.
- The manufacturing industry has a long history of testing and understands its value. Going back 30 or 40 years now, they have developed tests for everything from raw materials to end products.
- Self-sufficient, Do-it-yourself organizations. These companies, though not necessarily software development companies, have a history of creating their own software, integrating Cognos into custom portals, etc. They know and understand the Software Development Life Cycle and the importance of testing.
- Any company working with Big Data. Typically, these companies are more mature on the Business Analytics maturity spectrum. Testing of reports and managing the BI ecosystem can no longer be managed manually.
- Any large-scale Cognos implementation with two or more servers in multiple environments: Development, Testing, Performance, Production, Production Disaster Recovery. Notice that there are two environments dedicated to testing and performance. An ecosystem like this can easily have 10 to 30 servers which must be kept in sync.
- Any organization considering a Cognos upgrade needs to build regression testing into its upgrade plan. It’s imperative to determine if BI content works properly before migrating to a new version of Cognos. With testing in place you can determine if content works, if there is any degradation in performance and if the outputs are valid.
- Any organization with a distributed development team of multiple developers in various locations around the globe. Ensuring that developers follow corporate standards and best practices can be a challenge. When report developers in 3 or 4 time zones are collaborating on a project, coordination becomes that much more of a challenge. Testing becomes critical.
- Any well-run business should make sure the numbers it uses to make decisions are accurate. Intelligent decisions are based on accurate, reliable and timely analysis of data. Testing verifies the accuracy of data. Automated testing ensures this verification is timely. Any industry which is heavily regulated,has government oversight, or is at risk of audit should value the validation aspect of testing.
If you would like to learn more about the value of testing your BI environment and Continuous Integration, watch the webinar on testing and improving Cognos performance.