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5 QA Cornerstones in BI

06 September, 2017 | Post by

The SQA2 Blog: General

BI teams, product owners, and end users across a wide range of companies rely on BI tools in differing ways. Their goals are unique to how they use the tool and what the business is trying to accomplish with the data they collect. The development team is responsible for bringing the tool to life, meeting the demands of all the different teams that will be using or relying on the results of the BI tool. So what role does QA play in all of this? Ultimately, it is to assure the quality of the BI tool developed. There are five cornerstones that a QA team should focus on to support the development of the tool. In this blog, we will be covering an introduction of the five cornerstones. In upcoming blogs, we will be digging more deeply into how each cornerstone is implemented.

Efficiently Manage Data

There are numerous ways to manage millions of records and many companies today are investing in creating their own reporting tool. This can be a tool that automatically imports files of data into data stores that is the initial make up of a company’s Data Warehouse. This DW can have robust ETL’s capable of handling numerous possible data scenarios. Why is this a better idea than having 10 or 50 data analysts making sure the data is correct?

Requirements are Key

To make things work correctly, especially in the software development industry, one needs to understand how an application is supposed to work. One can ask themselves, what is the key to make this a successful project or application? The answer is what a team writes every day for a new feature or functionality: requirements. Requirements, or acceptance criteria, play a big role in how an application will be built. But what makes a good requirement?

Easy Workflow

Most people dislike getting lost and asking for directions, whether it is in a new city or with a new piece of software. However, this situation occurs frequently when users use an application that is new to them. Therefore, it is generally beneficial to create an application that is user friendly. This means the application itself has to be easily accessible. But why is it critical for end-users that deal with millions of records to have an easy workflow in an application?

Knowing the Audience

Colors are the first item someone notices when generating a report. This can make your report look exceptional, but can also ruins it. Then there are templates, or formats. Each type of report is crucial in presenting the data how it needs to be presented. The audience, or end users, will be the group driving your requirements. As a result, dashboard templates for applications are really popular for reporting tools. But how would you decide how to summarize and present all data points in a readable manner?

Effectiveness & Efficiency

At SQA², we partner up with our clients and make sure that their new/current applications run exceptionally well from a performance and functional perspective. Two items that we follow are effectiveness and efficiency. Effectiveness is doing the right things and efficiency is doing things right. Now, why is it important for businesses to worry about efficiency and effectiveness of their efforts?


In the upcoming 5 QA cornerstones blog series, we are going to be exploring in more detail and do deep dives into: Efficiently Managing Data, Requirements Are Key, Easy App Workflow, Presentations, and Effectiveness & Efficiency. We are also going to be answering the specific questions of:  Why is having 10 or 50 data analysts massaging data not a great process? How does correctly written requirements make the project succeed? Why is it critical for end-users that deal with millions of records to have an easy workflow in an application? How would one decide how to present a report in a readable manner that summarizes all data points? Why is it important for businesses to worry about efficiency and effectiveness of their efforts?

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