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Why Test Data Management Is A Pain In Insurance Application Testing?

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By Author: Diya Jones
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The insurance sector is facing challenges in the form of growing system complexities, competition, the advent of new skills and tool sets, and emerging security threats. The industry is shifting focus from its previously held ‘business as usual’ model to transforming its legacy applications and systems. The transformation includes refining the business processes to improving the customer experiences and streamlining the distribution channels. Like other sectors, insurance too is embracing the development of software applications in a big way. While doing so, the sector is adopting Agile development methodologies and cloud-based solutions.

However, notwithstanding the above-mentioned challenges, the insurance sector is finding itself hamstrung when it concerns test data management. This is because data remains sensitive and interdependent, not to speak of displaying high redundancy. Also, since insurance companies are aiming to drive user adoption of applications, they need to implement rigorous insurance application testing. The comprehensive testing shall cover segments such as life and casualty, health, and property.

Why test data management is a challenge?

The sensitive nature of data maintained by the insurance industry needs to be protected from emerging cyber security threats. However, maintaining the integrity of such data can encompass a host of challenges for the insurance industry.

# Growing complexity of services: The insurance industry is highly diverse with a slew of products catering to segments like life, health, and property. Each of the products cutting across segments and transactions like claims, policy renewal, and contract management, etc. have their unique workflows. Any insurance app containing scores of data and catering to these complex business scenarios would need to be validated through insurance app testing. To ensure the workflows operate optimally and meet their desired objectives, they should be tested against expected outcomes. These combine to make test data management a tedious and risk-prone exercise.

# Need to maintain continuous delivery: In the Agile and DevOps driven Software Development Life Cycle, insurance applications need to be developed, tested, and delivered on time, and within budget. Furthermore, since applications deliver value to the end customers 24x7, they need to be kept updated at all times. So, while testing applications, should there be any provisioning of poor-quality data, the same can lead to erroneous results.

# Compliance with regulations: The insurance sector is governed by several regulations, which are updated from time to time. This entails the applications to incorporate such regulatory changes as and when they come into force in the form of new releases. These releases need to be validated through insurance software testing making data management an arduous exercise. Also, the data given for insurance app testing should be adequately masked to prevent any leak. For should the regulations are not adhered to by the applications, there can be adverse consequences like data breach, regulatory censure, penalties, the lowering of brand visibility, and revenue loss.

# Security breaches: The menace of cyber crime is growing by the day and the insurance sector is not immune to it. The applications should be robust enough to meet the threats and safeguard data. Since the insurance sector is getting competitive and customers increasingly cognizant of the security aspect, the applications should be validated for security. Thus, the testing for insurance applications is imperative to generate confidence among stakeholders and prevent threats of data breaches.

# Faster product release: The competitive nature of the insurance industry entails the release of numerous products in a short time frame. Since each product deals with a large quantum of data, ensuring their integrity becomes a big issue. The quick release of insurance products presents very little window for developers as well as testers to validate the codes, ensure their integration, and remove glitches. The hurried approach does not leave much time for testers to set up crucial test infrastructure and identify data.

# Application complexity: The varied nature of insurance products and their objectives are often lost on the developers. The lack of knowledge among developers about the scope of such products and their objectives can work as a detriment to set up the much-needed environment to test data.

# Need to employ automation and standardization: The diverse nature of the insurance industry makes it difficult to employ technologies such as automation and data mining. Furthermore, the data is often unstructured and non-standardized leaving little leeway for the testers to execute comprehensive testing.

Conclusion

The fast-growing insurance industry requires customer-friendly instruments like mobile or web applications to bring in convenience, user-friendliness, security, and better outcomes. To ensure the same, a robust test data management exercise should be undertaken by employing cutting-edge technologies.

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