Data selection is the first step down the road of data-driven testing. You'll need to select the data that either drives the navigation of your application, represents the data that gets entered into your application, or both. One way to select data for testing is to use randomly generated data.
Many tools include test data generators. Random data generators can be especially helpful in generating large sets of customer data (depending on what you are testing and how much time you want to invest in the generation). For example, if you need to test for rounding errors on financial information, you can:
- Randomly generate a large set of data
- Run the data through your application
- Run it through the Windows calculator (assuming the Windows calculator has no rounding errors) simulating the same calculations
- Compare the results to make sure they match
If you need, for example, to generate a set of 500 different customer names and addresses, you can have a generator (Excel, WhitePages.com, Google Sets, and so on) create a table of names and addresses.