Cognos EP Migration Tip 8 ‘UAT Data Test’
User Acceptance Testing (UAT) is one of the final & critical software testing processes in Cognos EP Migration as it verifies that a solution works for the end user. Here we now consider the second stage of UAT – ‘UAT Data Test’.
Typically ‘UAT Logic Test’ ends with sign-off on a working prototype and ‘UAT Data Test’ begins as the model is scaled up to production strength. If ‘UAT Logic Test’ has been completed successfully, then in theory Cognos EP should sail through ‘UAT Data Test’.
What’s the problem with UAT Data Test?
Cognos EP never sails through UAT Data Test.
There are a number of reasons for this but perhaps the most common are:
- Real data is ‘dirty’ unlike the ‘clean’ data used in Logic Test
- Real data contains ‘holes’ or is otherwise ‘incomplete’
- Real data creates conditions that were not anticipated during prototype design
For all the above reasons, it is not wise to try to use ‘common sense’ during UAT Data Test or you will end up going around in circles.
What’s the solution?
The bad news is that there is no magic bullet for dealing with UAT Data Test. There are no points for being clever, only points for adopting a standardised approach.
The standard solution for Cognos EP Migration is to formulate a UAT Test Script which covers the entire planning cycle ‘from cradle to grave’ and then repeat this script over and over again until all the data ties back to a fixed reference.
Triangle provides two widgets to alleviate the pain of UAT Data Test namely:
- Widget – ‘Processes’
- Widget – ‘Data Test’
There now follows a brief overview of these two widgets in the context of UAT Data Test.
Widget – ‘Processes’
Widget – ‘Processes’ is going to help you to formulate your UAT Test Script. You should scope your script taking into account the following two considerations:
- “Is my script broad enough to cover upstream/downstream effects I may not have considered?”
- “Is my test cycle time compatible with the extent of changes that I am making?”
These are two very important questions because they tend to pull in opposite directions which is why it is so important to document them appropriately.
In the example above, the first question might relate to whether you need to test a cycle rolling from say Budget to Reforecast Q1 to Reforecast Q2 etc. but the second question might point to a cycle time of 2 hours which may be too long.
Cycle time is a vital consideration when formulating a successful UAT strategy, which brings us to the next widget.
Widget – ‘UAT Data Test’
Just as important as formulating a good UAT Test Script is recording the results of each cycle in a simple and clear format which improves the chances of the next text cycle being more successful than the previous one.
Widget – ‘UAT Data Test’ is a very simple way of recording test results for each cycle against the external reference, in this case the existing business plan in Excel.
This widget provides an intuitive representation of pass/fail where the yellow columns represent output from Cognos EP for each test cycle.
Despite its simplicity, this widget could be the most useful of all, as it constantly reminds us of the phrase, ‘there are no points for being clever, only points for being standard’.
Cognos EP Migration Journey with Triangle
In my next blog we will be look at locking in all the information we have gleaned from Cognos EP into an ‘online’ help system which can double as a Migration Guide and a Training Guide to support your Cognos EP Migration journey.
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