I was always curious about data testing. For the same reason, I opted for post-graduation in the testing field. To familiarize myself with testing, I even pursued the International Software Testing Qualification Board [ ISTQB] certification, which helped me a lot to get familiar with manual testing concepts.

As Albert Einstein said, “Information is not knowledge; the only source of knowledge is experience.”, I was craving a real industry experience. In September 2017, I got one such opportunity to learn, explore, and experience. I got an internship at Emergys Solutions!

After joining Emergys, I underwent extensive training in SQL, which involved understanding complex queries and stored procedures. These trainings were fun and way more advanced than what I learned in college. I realized the importance of in-depth knowledge of SQL and why mastering it is necessary for a data tester. Even a simple data analysis assignment was a great learning and gave me a good understanding of how testing is done in an industry.

Learning Data Testing

As a Big Data company, it is essential to ensure data quality and accuracy. For the same reason, data testing becomes a vital task. Even though I was good at manual testing, data testing was a kind of new thing for me. Training, as well as my team lead Abhilash, helped me understand the concepts of data testing. For the first time, I got direct exposure to various datasets. It made me know the complexity at the same time, the vitality of data testing.

Below are the various aspects of data testing that I have learned till now

Data Exploration

As the saying goes, “The devil is in the detail.” The same holds for the data exploration part of data testing. I learned how to check data granularity. For the same reason, I became best friends with this super-powerful tool, Microsoft Excel. Data exploration becomes a stepping stone for data analysis. The important takeaway is that you must dedicate a reasonable amount of time to exploring data, as further data testing depends on how well you understand the data.

Data Analysis

While working on one of the datasets, I found that it has data duplicity. With duplicate data, it becomes easier to compare data. To solve this issue, you must merge two or more identical data columns and consider them a unique key. Against manual testing, I learned how to save time and effort. This basic concept was such an essential learning! By the way, one mistake here can cost a lot. It can affect data quality badly.

Data Quality

I am working on sample data sets related to the banking industry. Hence, data completeness and data accuracy are of paramount importance here. As mentioned earlier, my best friend, Microsoft excel, makes this task easy for me. Learning to ensure data quality was a bumpy ride. I guess you can’t understand this without failing first. Initial training on stored procedures helped me automate the overall data quality assurance process.

There are many things in data testing that I have yet to learn. Every day is unique; every data set gives you a new experience and learning. Thanks to mentors here at Emergys, I have something to gain even from my failures. I have participated in many crucial discussions involving the senior-most individuals from Emergys. Apart from working on tasks, all these things have contributed a lot to making me a better data tester. I am confident that in the coming days will be as exciting as I have had till now!

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