ETL, Data Conversion, and Migration: The Conclusion

ETL Conclusion Image

Whether it is ETL, Data Conversion, or Data Migration, it is all about the data. 

To recap, in my blog series we covered ETL testingdefined a few termsas well as discussed data cleansing and testing of the extract, translate, and load processes. This discussion makes it clear that an ETL project is basically like any other IT project- you need requirements, test cases, test environment, and tools. Just like with any IT project, the most important elements needed are requirements. Without requirements, how do you know what data you need to work with, how it is supposed to be transformed, and where it should be loaded in the target system? For an ETL project – and really any project – you want to eliminate guesswork. 


Also, since ETL projects are backend projects, it does require some additional skills like knowing SQL, relational database concepts, system admin knowledge, and maybe advanced Excel skills. This does not require you to be a DBA or System Admin – you just need to know enough to thoroughly validate the data. Besides, this is why companies have DBAs and System Admins, as they are the experts in these areas and are there to help. 


So, whether it is replacing an old legacy system, a new data feed to a data warehouse, a new nightly batch job, moving to new hardware, etc., these are all ETL processes and need to be tested. Once you validate that these ETL processes work, you can move on to the front end of the application to validate how the system works with the real converted data rather than made up data. 


One last thought: as I keep saying, “it is all about the data.” Remember, the quality of the data is a huge factor in the perception of the quality of the application using this data. The lower the quality of the data, the lower the perception will be about the application in general. 


Olenick Test Management Services is here to help in all your ETL project needs.


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Ken Stawarz    

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