Data from customers is the focus of the customer data platforms. A single, consistent, and complete perspective of each customer is generated by gathering and combining first-party consumer data from various sources. It then makes that data available to marketers to construct targeted and tailored marketing campaigns.
A Customer Data Platform (CDP) is a piece of software that gathers and organizes customer information from numerous touchpoints for use by other programs, systems, and marketing platforms. Unique, centralized customer profiles are generated from real-time data by CDPs. Since CDPs are designed with the customers in mind, they must be thoroughly tested to ensure a consistent user experience.
What Precisely is Customer Data?
Customer data is the information that users leave behind when they engage in online and off-line transactions, commercial dealings, and other activities. These refer to customer data that can be obtained from a first-party source, such as information from websites, applications, social media, e-commerce platforms, in person or other situations where customers gave their information voluntarily e.g., when attending a conference and responding to a survey etc. Businesses can benefit immensely from these data.
What is Meant by End-to-End Testing?
A software testing technique called end-to-end testing verifies the entire piece of software, including its integration with external interfaces, from beginning to end. End-to-end testing’s goal is to simulate a whole production situation while evaluating the entire piece of software for dependencies, data integrity, and connectivity with other systems, interfaces, and databases.
End-to-end testing is a methodology used in the software development lifecycle (SDLC) to evaluate an application’s performance and functionality in real-world situations using data that closely resembles real-world conditions. The objective is to completely recreate a real user scenario in the simulation. Now, if you want to know more about end-to-end testing, you can check out What is END-To-END Testing?
Testing Strategy for Our CDP Portal
A test strategy is a representation of the testing procedures. A systematic approach to software testing is what the test strategy aims to provide in order to guarantee quality, traceability, reliability, and better planning. The primary goal of software testing strategy is to design tests in such a way that they quickly and efficiently identify all types of errors, reducing the amount of time required for software development rework, and ensuring software quality and functionality in accordance with business requirements. To achieve this, we need an efficient test strategy. While testing our CDP portal, we considered the following factors in developing our strategy:
1.Identify and recognize the requirements: We need to identify the customer’s needs and what they exactly want. Because, if we want to execute an effective testing process, we need to understand the mindset of the client. Whether it’s a new system or a change request to an existing system, we need to be sure about the client’s requirements.
2.Specifying the objectives of the testing in a clear and detailed manner: The test strategy needs to explicitly state each of the objectives so that we can be clear about our goal and what we desire to achieve. So, in our strategy, we include our goals and work in a manner to achieve those goals.
3.Choose the right testing approach: There are various testing approaches, such as manual testing, automated testing, and exploratory testing. We need to Choose the approach that best suits the testing goals, time constraints, and resources.
4.Specifying the testing environment: We require an interface where the system can be executed, called a testing environment, that will allow us to check how a system will behave in a live environment. While testing our CDP portal, we consider three testing environments that leverage our testing strategy:
- Dev Environment: This environment can also be called Component integration testing (CIT) environment. This is the environment where the software is being developed. Before moving on to the following steps, a variety of preliminary tests are conducted at this stage. Here, we conduct rigorous testing including both positive and negative testing. Basically, the integration between different components and their workflows is tested here.
- Stage Environment: This environment can also be called System Integration Testing (SIT) environment. After testing in dev environment, we move to the stage environment. In order to guarantee the software functions properly, this environment aims to be as close to an identical clone of the production environment as is practical. We run tests in a stage environment to make sure no issues arise in production and to minimize any negative effects, resulting in fewer errors to be fixed when the system is introduced into the production environment. Smoke testing is one type of test that we conduct in this environment. After we are done testing, we give a demo to our clients, and they do the UAT.
- Production Environment: The most recent versions of software, or upgrades are delivered live to the intended users in a production environment. The end user can view, operate, and engage with the system in this environment. After the software is deployed to the production environment, we are assigned with a limited time period for sanity testing. In the assigned time window, we check the happy paths of our system and check if any new errors have occurred. Finally, when we are done with our testing, we hand- over the system to the end users.
5.Plan for test cases and test data: We need to plan for developing test cases that describe how the software should behave under different conditions. Also, we need to plan for the test data that will be used in the testing ensure that we have adequate test data to cover various scenarios.
6.Establish the testing metrics and reporting: Lastly, we need to Define the testing metrics that will be used to measure the success of the testing, and establish the reporting structure to communicate the testing results to the project stakeholders.
7.Continuously monitoring and refining the testing strategy: As the project progresses, continuously monitor the testing results and refine the testing strategy as needed to ensure that the testing is meeting the project goals and quality criteria.
How We Conduct End-to-End Testing in Our CDP Portal?
In our CDP portal, we have a section called “Business Partner Management”, where we organize and manage all the data of our business partners (HCPs, HCOs, vendors, and customers). While testing, we don’t just jump in and start testing all at once. We start step by step in a systematic way, from a single module to the whole system. The basic flow of the “Business Partner Management” section is as follows:
1st: A new request is created, and a form is sent to a HCP, HCO, vendor, or customer from the CDP site via mail.
2nd: The HCP, HCO, vendor, or customer receives the mail with the registration form that is published by the AEM (Adobe Experience Manager CMS – our web frontend) site (we have an integration between AEM and the CDP portal).
3rd: The user registers and submits the form, which then appears on the CDP site under “Business Partner Lists.”
4th: Lastly, the request of a business partner is handled on the CDP site.
Integration testing: First, we start with the integration testing. This testing’s primary goal is to confirm that the system’s various components can communicate and operate as a cohesive whole. So, for the above-mentioned scenarios, we test the integration, for example: if a form is sent, is it correctly received by the respective user or not; when a request is deleted from the CDP site, can the user still access the form or not; etc. We consider all of these little yet very important aspects while testing. In this phase, we do all kinds of positive, negative, and boundary value testing.
System Testing: Following that, we perform system testing, in which we test the system as a whole and conduct an end-to-end journey for the users in order to recreate the entire journey and determine what types of issues may arise for the end users. Any defects encountered are logged and assigned to the development team.
Re-testing and Regression Testing: After the bug fixing, we again test the affected area and the unaffected areas. These are done after both the integration and system testing.
Smoke Testing: After the bug is fixed, we test the affected and unaffected areas again. These are done after both integration and system testing.
Sanity Testing: After all the testing is completed and the software is deployed to the production environment, we conduct sanity testing to ensure that users will not encounter any problems with the live system.
Reporting & Test sign-off: At each stage, all test execution results are captured & logged and can be used later for reporting purpose. At the end of each stage, a sign-off communication is shared with the team & stakeholders.
End-to-end testing, sometimes known as E2E testing, is a testing approach that verifies a software workflow from beginning to end. It is crucial to replicate how the end user will interact with the final system, which is composed of all components and dependencies, to ensure the final quality assurance of all moving components. This necessitates performing end-to-end testing on all processes, from basic operations to intricate workflow scenarios. So, it can be concluded that everyone should consider E2E testing for their software and should begin with small steps to ensure quality. But if you are just starting with the quality assurance process, you may first go through this: Why Quality Assurance is Crucial for Your Business.