“What gets measured, gets managed.” – Peter Drucker.

As quoted by the inventor of modern management, in order to successfully manage anything, it is important to measure it. When it comes to complex tech projects like Big Data executed by a team of programmers, it is vital to have a robust tracking system that team leads and important stakeholders at the client side can access.

Though many project management platforms are available in the market, they are only good for task management. A common monitoring dashboard is necessary for tracking day-to-day work and representing it in easy-to-understand form. Such a tracking dashboard becomes an important tool when long-time duration projects are in execution.

We at Ellicium provide Big Data solutions. I have worked on some Big Data projects. Based on my experience, most Big Data projects are complex and lengthy. Rigorous tracking and analysis is the prime requirement of any Big Data project. Hence, there was a dire need to have one dashboard that could give a graphical representation of all testing-related task status results. Emphasis was to have a graphical representation of these results so they could be easily understood. So, I created this ‘Testing Dashboard’ to track our internal project progress on the testing front for Big Data projects.

Why did we want a pictorial form of representation?

As I mentioned earlier, it is easy to understand! Pictorial representation helps a lot in the comparative analysis of the work done. For team leads it can be a good way to get an overview of the project without spending too much time.

In an extension of using this tool for tracking, we wanted to do a predictive analysis, for example, the number of days required to complete the testing and other important parameters. , it should also help in resource productivity tracking and having timely solutions in place in case of off-schedule projects.

So, let’s see what the testing dashboard is and how it works.

What is a Testing Dashboard?

The Testing Dashboard is a pictorial representation of the progress of the testing process, which makes reporting fast.

Test dashboards help you monitor test activities, report on progress, find gaps in test coverage, and identify test areas that might require additional investigation.

How did it help in our Big Data project?

One of our recent projects involved presenting testing results to the executives of the client company daily. The effectiveness of the testing measured the efficiency of the project. This cycle was required to be continued for more than a month. The first question that came to my mind was – “How effectively can I present my test results to the higher management?”
While researching the same, I came across various testing dashboards that many test managers had prepared during similar situations. Using their experiences and expertise in this area, I prepared a simple dashboard to help users understand the key takeaways from my daily test results.

Some aspects I covered in this dashboard were wise defects: This pie chart shows the total number of defects detected in each module. This chart can also be used as an analysis of defect clustering (one of the testing principles that states that the defects are not uniformly distributed along the application). Defect clustering is based on the Pareto principle, the 80-20% rule. This principle states that 80% of the defects are found in 20% of the module.

The severity of test cases with respect to status:

This chart shows the severity of each failed test case. By using this chart, you can decide the priority of each failed test case.

# Test cases executed per day:

This scattered chart shows the productivity (no. of test cases executed per day) of the testing process.

Test progress:

The total number of test cases identified vs. real test cases executed per day is presented in a bar chart. It also includes the total test cases planned yesterday against those executed yesterday and those planned today against the total test cases executed today.

Test Status:

This pie chart shows the number of test cases completed, the of test cases that failed, no. of Blocked test cases, no. of test cases remaining to test, and no. of test cases that are still in progress.

Test status/priority:

This chart shows the prioritized test cases concerning their status, whether passed, failed, blocked, or in progress, and test cases that have not been executed to date.

Here are some insights into how to create this dashboard.

How do you populate data for creating this dashboard?
If you want to create a dashboard to show the number of test cases executed per day, then you have to calculate no. of test cases executed each day of the testing process. Data should be in the following format:

How do you create this dashboard?
Once you have the data in the above format, you can easily create a scattered chart (Line chart) to show the number of Test cases executed per day. Following are the steps for creating a dashboard:

  • Select the data. Please refer to the following screenshot:
  • When you click on Insert -> Scatter -> Scatter with straight lines and Markers, the below chart gets created using the data created in Step-1. Please refer to the following chart.

This entire test cycle helped me to understand the importance of publishing Big Data testing dashboards. Following are some of the important takeaways:

Dashboards are very easy to read and easy to understand.

Reporting becomes fast and easy

By using the dashboards, we can easily convey the testing progress to the client or the higher management. For example, if a client wants to know the critical bugs handled in a day or the total defects identified across a period, it can be viewed easily with this dashboard.

Above all, such a dashboard helps the Test Manager to:

  • Showcase a structured way of work presentation.
  • Effectively deliver output on time.

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