Discover How the Business Analytics Industry Can Benefit from Stress & Loading Testing

Demands on Business Analytics teams are increasing at a rapid pace, while the budgets for maintenance and support are often stagnant or regressive. Analytics teams must not only keep up with growing demands and an explosion of data, but also adapt to a dynamically changing landscape, such as frequent releases of analytics or software and customer requests for timely insights.

As both the adoption of Business Analytics and the size and scope of enterprise data are ever increasing, successful analytics organizations will often face growing pains such as performance and scalability challenges.

In the Cognos world, highly qualified consultants with multidisciplinary skill sets can attack performance and scalability problems on an adhoc basis, but the effort tends to be delayed until the issues have become severe, and it is difficult to move the performance and scalability needle without expending significant resources on the problem.

Motio advocates a more proactive, scientific, and automated approach to performance, such as load testing as it doesn’t require scripting.

The only way to guarantee that the time to market can be met is to monitor and benchmark the performance and scalability of your Business Analytics ecosystems in an automated manner. When problems are detected, they can be corrected quickly, before ever making their way into production environments. This white paper describes an approach to assure that SLA demands for performance are met without extra costs.

Skipping SLA Testing

One of the key trade-offs often made by analytics teams is to skip performance and load testing of the analytics content and environments. Already stretched thin by the increasing demands on their team, it is often deemed too much work and too complex to execute comprehensive and quantitative performance and stress tests.

In these scenarios, BI managers often lack the proper tooling and typically end up being reactive, rather than proactive. Scalability problems typically only boil to the top when users begin frequently complaining about the performance of their reports, instability in the analytics environment, and/or the lack of timeliness for analytics outputs that are needed to drive informed business decisions.

When BI systems are not performing according to the SLA demands, the BI manager starts several improvement initiatives. Most of the time, business users have no knowledge of the SLA demands and whether or not they are being met. They have simply the feeling that “the system is slow.”

For the BI manager, it is important to dismiss a reactive approach and create a method which assures performance standards are being met. This simply cannot be done without the help of software tools.

Performance and Stress Testing

Generally, four types of testing are identified to determine the performance of the BI platform:

Cognos Testing Measurement Chart

During these tests, the IT infrastructure is monitored. With the results, ICT specialists can determine the weak links in the infrastructure chain. a report depends on.

Monitoring the IT infrastructure

The performance of the BI landscape is related to several elements such as the hardware containing several virtual servers, the network capacity, the database configuration, the Cognos topology and configuration, the data model, etc. Executing a performance test requires a multi-discipline approach. Several departments and specialists are involved and their knowledge must be used. The specialist determines the elements of the infrastructure that must be measured. This list could look like the following:

Cognos Infrastructure Monitoring Chart

Measurements must be collected and reported over time. This data is the basis to pinpoint the bottlenecks in the BI ecosystem.

The Approach

The following steps will be taken to execute the performance test and find the cause of the performance issue:

  1. Set the model of the infrastructure, user behavior, and the load. Describe the target performance which Cognos must meet.
  2. Design the tests and set up the test sets. Cognos load test set up
  3. Plan the session and prepare. Install ReportCard, set up the test scripts and run book. Prepare the tests, collect data and describe how the performance report must look.
  4. Execute tests, collect the data, and write the report.
  5. Analyze the results and improve the environment. Cognos Stress/load test results
  6. Go to step 4 and retest until the required result is obtained.

Conclusion

There are many highly qualified Cognos consultants who can eventually solve Cognos performance issues, but the lack of proper tooling can make it difficult to begin. Cognos consultants lack the ability to follow an integrated performance testing method because they don’t have performance supporting software, which makes it easy to turn these tests into repeatable tasks until Cognos performance reaches the desired outcome. This software is now available and is called ReportCard.

The patented technology of ReportCard seamlessly integrates into Cognos and actively and continuously monitors your Cognos performance. ReportCard provides a deeper understanding of what may be affecting your Cognos performance through load/stress testing and system monitoring. ReportCard ensures superior performing Cognos environments by detecting issues.