Data Driven Decisions in Testing

When we’re testing software, we use a wide variety of tools and skills to drive our decision making. Often, we forget, don’t know how to use, or don’t have access to the right data to take our decision making to the next level. Leveraging the data available to us can give us a whole new perspective on the risks our business and team need to mitigate. Data gives us a different perspective through which to see and understand our systems. It allows us to ask different questions, to see different risks, to uncover the unexpected. Combining a testing mindset with access to data allows us to unleash the potential power of both. Applying all of the skills we use when testing applications to analyzing the data we have available to us can help us to decide when we should and shouldn’t rely on the data.

Imagine your team is in the middle of developing an important feature. The feature is worth hundreds of thousands of euros to the company and there’s a hard deadline of when this has to go out to customers. The team is working against the clock with less than a week to deliver. Suddenly a bug comes in. Your product is completely unusable for a customer. The display is totally broken. What do you do? How can you balance the risk of the time needed to investigate this issue with the hard deadline for the feature? The answer to all of these questions is simple. Data. When my team asked me how risky it was to not action this bug fix, I could confidently say it was incredibly low. I could see from our usage statistics that less than 0.05% of our users were experiencing this issue and there was a workaround for what they were encountering.

Join me to explore how data took my decision making process to the next level. You’ll get insights into how leveraging the data available can bring whole new perspectives on the risk your business and team need to mitigate.

Learning Outcomes

After this talk:

  • You will be empowered to seek out and ask for access to data
  • You will have examples of when data can help your whole team make decisions
  • You’ll see how relying on data can help to mitigate huge risks and why relying completely on data is risky too

Attendee Reviews

Very good session with concrete examples allowing us to understand the true power of data. Something I’ve always struggled with and now really see how it is a powerful tool and a life savior.

Informative and easy to follow. It gave me a new perspective to rethink some of my or my companies behaviour which is more often relying on feelings and emotions rather than on actual facts and data.

Awesome talk with lots of messages we all need to hear more of. Loved all the stories that made it very tangible! Great job presenting, too - you rocked this.

Super stories to point out why data is Sooooo important, thanks Heather, great talk!