Screening Systems – Before you start Tuning & Testing

Before you embark on a tuning exercise or a round of assurance testing of your screening system there are a few things worth taking the time to check and fix as required.  A lot of this is common sense but when missed can result in significant delays in your testing and generate a lot of adverse results which then require analysis to justify unexpected results.  A little effort upfront can prove invaluable in the long run.

Test environment capacity

Understanding how long it takes the test environment to process volumes of data is important for your planning as this will need to be built into the testing schedule. Is there a need to argue the case for enhanced capacity on the specific test environment to support a more efficient testing cycle? No doubt budgetary constraints will be a factor here.  

Test data

Or tuning, ideally you need lots of names that are representative of your customer base. Can you use a copy of production data for the duration of the tuning exercise? There will likely be internal data security issues with this approach that will need to be worked through so start well in advance of your testing timelines.

What is the backup plan if a copy of production data cannot be used? Can IT or a data team facilitate the generation of test data by way of altering a copy of production data – for example swopping surnames, deleting address details, and generating new customer IDs.

Configuration rules

Is the test environment a mirror of production? Are you sure all the settings have been updated in line with those applied to production? We often have the situation when carrying out assurance testing that the results are poorer than expected and the conclusion after investigation is that the settings are not fully up to date on the test environment and that the missing matches do in fact match on the production environment. Ensuring consistency in the environments will save time and effort trying to understand unexpected results.

List data

Another typical reason why we see unexpected results as part of assurance testing can be attributed to the Sanctions/PEPs lists not being up to date on the test environment. Understanding the status of the lists on the test environment and getting them updated as much as possible is going to save a lot of investigation into missing exact list matches as part of your assurance testing.

Noise words

Linked to the configuration settings above – Ensure the noise words lists are up to date and the functionality is switched on/off in line with the production environment.

Screening Tuning can be finicky and time consuming to qualify the results so ensuring a clean slate at the outset with a test environment which mirrors production will ensure that any improvements seen in the test environment will be achievable in the production environment. From an assurance testing perspective, having a reliable test environment which mirrors production will mean that the results are easier to interpret, it supports the case that the business understand the system requirements, and will make for a smoother test cycle.

At SQA Consulting we can not only give you hints and tips on screening effectively, we are leaders in measuring the effectiveness and efficiency of screening. 

Please contact us to find out more.

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