Replacing privacy-sensitive data with synthetic data

Case study of Nederlandse Spoorwegen, the Dutch Railways.

This case study shows how our software helps Nederlandse Spoorwegen (NS) to create high-quality synthetic test data to test the storage for all kinds of data from the company.

Logo NS

Organization

Nederlandse Spoorwegen (NS) is the principal passenger railway operator in the Netherlands. It is a Dutch state-owned company founded in 1938. The Dutch rail network is one of the busiest in the European Union, and the third busiest in the world after Switzerland and Japan.

Nearly 19,000 people work for NS. 

Primary use case

 

We have several development teams within our department using the solution to create test data to test the storage for all kinds of data from our company. We can’t use actual data for testing because of privacy, so we create synthetic data using DATPROF. We have one department with about 20 teams mainly using the solution on virtual machines. They are all connected to one central SQL server database in which the data is generated. We are a transportation company and all the data we deal with is regarding trains.”

How DATPROF helped

DATPROF helped improve our organization because as more of our development teams adopt the tool, we become faster at creating test data. The test data quality is also improving, resulting in us creating better products. Overall, we gain time by speeding up the creation of test data and increasing the quality of our products. “

Value

“We can create synthetic test data for our different development teams without needing production data, which is an excellent capability.

The UI is excellent, and it’s one of the main selling points for us. It’s straightforward, so the threshold for use by our staff is relatively low, meaning all kinds of testers and developers can use this product very easily. 

The testing management provided by DATPROF is very important, as we deliver key performance indicators to the politicians in The Hague. The information we provide has to be high quality, and we can expect that quality using this tool.”

Points of improvement

“We still use another tool called Broadcom TDM, which has more features than DATPROF, so there is room for improvement regarding functionality. DATPROF is very receptive to this as a company; they listen and try to incorporate our feedback as much as possible.

The synthetic data-generating element of the tool is relatively new, so we sometimes encounter bugs, though when we inform DATPROF, they act quickly to fix any issues. Of course, the fewer bugs we face, the better.”

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