So once your products are all they
should be, what then? The clue is in the paragraph above, i.e.
'customers expect'. And boy, don't they, and if companies lose
sight of the need to match good products with even better customer
service, they'll be undone.
And what can possibly help organisations manage the
countervailing pull of product, service and innovation? It's data.
Lots of lovely data and the systems they feed. Business systems
that oversee sales processes, monitor peaks and troughs, hunt for
evidence of trends and manage customer contact strategies that
enhance rather than destroy customer relations.
Not hacking customers off is a 21st century requirement,
United Airlines will be sensitive to after a disastrous day
last month. I can't pretend to know what lay behind the computer
system shut down but developers and testers acknowledge that
although it takes a huge effort to manually create data to test new
functionality, that effort does not result in data that tests all
The business case for
synthetic data is now clear as it is the only way to create
data with a rich enough spread to go beyond examining how data
performs in existing systems and scrutinizes how functionality will
hold up in the parameters of new.
So, with business systems at the very heart of how companies
function and indispensable when determining strategies to maintain
growth, why isn't data testing and development a front-of-mind,
non-negotiable, number-one priority?
My view is that even today in the boardroom, the big cheeses
don't get it. Not enough CEOs were CTOs.
Too many 'C' level honchos are happy to sketch out what they
want to see grafted onto a business but too few appreciate the time
it should take to develop systems. With the 'it should have been
done yesterday' pressures of today's business environment, time is
money but get the planning stage wrong and the costs are almost
Few would trust a carpenter to start building a cabinet without
plans, and thorough plans at that, so why do businesses tolerate
minimal resources for testing?
Soon enough, the use of synthetic data and comprehensive test
data management strategies will be the norm. And as an ordinary
consumer, it can't come soon enough.