Ever wished that you had someone like a tarot card reader who can predict what you need to do to optimize your product and tell you about possible problems even before their occurrence.
Predictive analytics is all about this.
With the help of predictive analytics you can analyze legacy data and make predictions related to resource usage, user behavior, moderating your testing methods, and much more.
So, let’s find out what is predictive analytics and what values can it add to software testing when applied to it.
What Is Predictive Analytics?
Predictive analytics as the name suggests is ‘prediction’ based on ‘analytics’. So, the prediction of unknown events based on analysis of past data is termed as predictive analytics.
It combines various aspects of machine learning, statistics, statistical algorithms, artificial intelligence, modeling, and mining to make those predictions.
For example, prediction analysis can be used to how many users can come after the launch of a new campaign. We can utilize this technology to solve the purpose in software testing. But first, we need to know what are the challenges in traditional software testing process that might be resolved by using predictive analytics.
Challenges In Traditional Testing Techniques
While performing testing, testers ignore customers’ usage patterns and focus mainly on business and technical requirements. This may lead to gaps in expectations of customers.
Since traditional testing lacks feedback loop hence it fails to adapt learnings in real time.
Traditional testing is inward-focused which lacks major details. It is usually based on use cases that product team identified even before the launch of product. We need to make it more customer-focused.
Customer satisfaction is hard to understand. Despite of fully ‘functional’ applications, you never know if your user is satisfied as our testing is mainly ‘functional’ based.
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How Can Predictive Analytics Help In Solving Traditional Testing Challenges?
Predictive Analytics In Understanding User Behavior
While running a test case, the normal tester behavior is to go and test all the possible test scenarios. But, as we know, we can never test entirely or say that testing is complete now. As there are some minor details that we might miss.
So, if we record the complete data to predict all the possible scenarios like what event led to the other.
How the users are responding to this particular event?
How they are responding to that series of events?
We can use predictive analytics to predict what can be the possibility of user reacting to a specific event based on the pattern that they have followed previously. And this can be further utilized to predict the possible areas of bugs, series of events leading to those bugs, possible reasons of encountering this bug.
If we analyze the user’s behavioral pattern, we can modify our testing methodologies and possibilities of encountering a bug. Also, understanding this pattern helps us to focus the major area.
Say, a tester has to perform a cross browser test of a website. Predictive analytics can help him decide which browser or OS to test first based on the usage. Because, he can not afford to compromise the website on the most used browsers.
This was one aspect being customer centric.
If we look into the other side of the coin, you can utilize this intelligence in various other aspects too!
Let’s find out.
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Predictive Analytics In Resource Management
Say, you are developing a software, website, web application, mobile application, etc. You’ll have various teams working on the same project. Here, you can use data in the form of time.
You’ll go in a series of steps like:
So, based on the time taken gathered from various data, you can predict that planning takes that much of time, building takes typically these number of days etc.
If you are developing your build in HTML. So, while development phase you can assign other work to the planning, QA, testers, etc while once build is done you can assign HTML’s pending task to guy who has completed building now.
So, based on data you can predict who can be free at what time and manage your resources based on analysis of data.
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How can Software Testers Use Predictive Analytics?
When you have a look at our previously published blog on browser statistics you’ll get a complete set of data like shown in this image.
From what data is there, you can analyze that the browser share varies on the basis on the demography, devices used, etc. So, predictive analytics help you decide which browser and device is mostly used by your audience of interest.
You can predict what should be your browser on interest on the top? How you need to prioritize your testing methods? And much more!
In A Nutshell
Data has a lot to tell. You can utilize it to help you in various ways. When predicted accurately, it can make your work easier manyfolds. All you need to do is to analyze it and make the best out of it. Predictive analytics is a vast field when you go deep into it. By utilizing various statistical tools, you can grab a big deal out of it.
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