Streamlining Test Data Management for a National Defense Contractor
Case Study: Test Data Analysis Application
The energy division of a leading global security & aerospace defense contractor is in the process of developing and testing battery prototypes. The tests conducted on the battery prototypes generate a massive amount of data that must also be paired with metadata from the prototype apparatus for analysis to be completed. The company was using multiple solutions to store and analyze the data, but they found this process to be inefficient and frustrating. This frustration drove the organization to seek assistance from Aciron Consulting to develop a unified solution for the collection, storage, and analysis of test data.
Aciron began this project with a Phase 0 dedicated to gathering and fleshing out the requirements for the system. This phase allowed the client and the Aciron team to fully understand the scope of the project as well as the advanced technical specifications and requirements for the system. As a part of Phase 0, Aciron developed a clickable prototype of the system which allowed the client to understand the proposed look and feel of the application. This prototype was developed iteratively through a series of meetings in which the client was able to give feedback prior to development actually taking place. The prototype served as a clear roadmap for the system and was invaluable to maintaining a reasonable timeline for development. Storyboards, process flow diagrams, and business rules documentation were also created to ensure that once the system was developed, it would look and function as defined.
After several rounds of collaborative meetings with the client, the prototype was approved for development and the project moved into Phase 1. In Phase 1, the first three portions of the application were developed according to the requirements defined in Phase 0. Once development and internal testing were complete, the application was deployed to a test environment to allow the client to perform user acceptance testing (“UAT”). During UAT, the client was able to identify some necessary tweaks and modifications to the system to allow it to be the most valuable to the company. The features identified during UAT were developed and implemented in the system prior to the application being deployed to a live, production environment.
Aciron developed a web-based application with a SQL server back-end database that allows the client to track their battery component inventory, build batteries using available components, set up tests, and store, process, and manage the resulting test data. The database pairs the test data with the apparatus metadata, and users can analyze this data via sophisticated search and reporting functionality. The application aggregates the data from all of the battery prototypes in one central location, which has greatly improved the team’s efficiency with processing test data.
The system is built around a robust security framework, ensuring the highest level of protection for the organization’s sensitive data. The user-friendly interface of the front-end application allows users to easily perform advanced functions and interact with the data without having to write highly technical queries in the back-end database. Users can simply enter the criteria for the type of data they are looking for, and the system will present the results in a user-friendly format.
The custom test data analysis application has helped the client to better organize and standardize their data management. The data is now more accessible to users company-wide, improving collaboration and the sharing of knowledge across departments. The system is currently in Phase 2 of development which includes the test data processing components of the application.