mobile app security

Derek D

Best Practices for Generating and Using Synthetic Data in App Testing

mobile app testing, synthetic data validation, synthetic user testing

In an era where data holds immense significance in advancing, examining, and implementing web or mobile applications, guaranteeing data privacy and precision is imperative. A strategy garnering increasing attention in recent times involves employing synthetic data for mobile app testing. Synthetic data refers to dummy data, intentionally generated to emulate the attributes of real-world data while completely devoid of any genuine personal or sensitive information.

What is Synthetic Data?

Synthetic data is artificially produced to closely emulate real-world data’s structure, distribution, and associations. It does not contain sensitive or confidential information and proves to be a highly effective replacement for genuine data in numerous situations, including mobile app testing and training.

Why is synthetic data important for businesses?

There are three compelling reasons synthetic data is significant for businesses: safeguarding privacy, facilitating mobile app testing, and training machine learning algorithms. Moreover, industry leaders have initiated discussions about the significance of data-centric strategies in developing AI/ML models, and synthetic data can contribute substantial value to these discussions. For further insights, please refer to our comprehensive guide on synthetic data.

Types of Synthetic Data

When selecting the most suitable approach for generating synthetic data, it is crucial to understand the specific type of synthetic data needed to address a business challenge. There are two main categories of synthetic data: fully synthetic and partially synthetic data.

  • Fully synthetic data has no direct link to real data. All the necessary variables are present in this case, but the data remains unidentifiable.
  • Partially synthetic data retains all the information from the original dataset except for the sensitive details. It is derived from the actual data, which is why, on occasion, the genuine values may persist in the refined synthetic dataset.

How to Generate Synthetic Data for Mobile and Web App Automation?

    1. Define Data Requirements: Before generating synthetic data, you must define your data needs distinctly. Gain a clear understanding of the specific data required for your automated synthetic user testing scenarios, including data types, formats, and distributions.
  • Select a Data Generation Tool: A wide array of tools and libraries are at your disposal for creating synthetic data. Among the popular options are Faker, Mockaroo, and Python libraries such as NumPy and Faker. Select the tool that most closely matches your technology stack and requirements.
  1. Data Modeling: Establish a data model that mirrors the data structure required, encompassing all fields and connections within your mobile and web application. Utilizing tools like JSON Schema or the SQL Data Definition Language (DDL) can be advantageous during this phase.

Best Practices for Generating and Using Synthetic Data

The successful implementation of synthetic data generation for app testing necessitates meticulous planning and execution. To maximize the advantages of synthetic data, it’s essential to adhere to the following best practices.

Clearly Define Testing Goals and Data Requirements

Before you begin generating synthetic data, clearly defining your synthetic user testing objectives is essential. Gain a deep understanding of the precise data prerequisites for your testing scenarios, encompassing data types, structures, and distributions. Make sure to harmonize these requirements with your testing goals.

Select the Right Data Generation Tools and Libraries

Select data generation tools and libraries that align most effectively with your technology stack and testing requirements. Common choices encompass Faker Mockaroo and Python libraries such as NumPy and Faker.

Create a Comprehensive Data Model

Construct a strong data model that faithfully portrays the structure and interconnections within your application’s data. This model should encompass all the fields and entities found in your app.

Utilize Realistic Data Generation Techniques

When creating synthetic data, employ methods that closely emulate real-world data. Take into account the following techniques:

  • Utilize random data generation for fundamental scenarios.
  • Employ pattern-based generation to replicate specific data formats.
  • Use statistical generation to mirror actual data distributions.
  • Opt for correlated data generation to maintain data relationships within your application.

Data Quality and Validation

Incorporate synthetic data validation and quality assessments to guarantee that the generated data complies with the necessary testing standards. This encompasses consistency validations and the identification of outliers.

Scale Data Generation Appropriately

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Produce an appropriate volume of data to replicate your application’s anticipated usage patterns and workloads. This is crucial for conducting scalability and performance assessments.

Integrate Synthetic Data Seamlessly

Incorporate synthetic data into your testing environment through databases, API endpoints, or file uploads. Verify that the data flow within your application is accurately emulated.

Design Diverse Testing Scenarios

Develop a range of testing scenarios that make efficient use of synthetic data. Encompass typical, edge, and stress testing to uncover possible vulnerabilities and challenges.

Iterate and Improve

Consistently enhance your synthetic data generation process by incorporating insights from testing outcomes. Modify and improve data generation models and methods to enhance their precision and alignment with the evolving needs of your application.

Data Privacy and Compliance

Guarantee that the synthetic data you create complies with data privacy regulations and avoids disclosing sensitive information. Implement anonymization and pseudonymization methods as required.

Data Documentation

Maintain comprehensive and well-documented records for the synthetic data generation process. This documentation should encompass data models, generation methodologies, and any particular prerequisites for replicating or adjusting the synthetic data.

Testing Realism

Aim to enhance the realism of your synthetic data to the greatest extent possible. The closer it mimics real-world data, the more adept it will be at uncovering potential problems and weaknesses within your application.

Collaboration Across Teams

Foster collaboration among testing, development, and data science teams to enhance synergy in data science for business. Effective communication is pivotal to ensure that all team members share common goals and possess a comprehensive understanding of the nuances involved in synthetic data generation.

Data Variation

Create data that encompasses a diverse spectrum of variations. This is essential for uncovering potential problems and unique scenarios in your application.

Data Retention Policies

Set explicit data retention guidelines for synthetic data. Specify the duration for which synthetic data should be stored, who can access it, and the conditions under which it should be removed.

Data Profiling

Conduct a thorough profiling of your synthetic data to pinpoint anomalies and discrepancies. This is particularly crucial for detecting problems not readily evident during testing.


Producing synthetic data for the automation of mobile and web apps represents a valuable approach that tackles various challenges associated with data privacy, accessibility, diversity, and scalability. By adhering to a systematic data modeling, generation, and synthetic data validation methodology, you can craft authentic and efficient synthetic data for comprehensive automation testing. 

Synthetic data not only guarantees the functionality of your applications but also aids in the identification of potential problems and vulnerabilities within a controlled and secure setting. As technology progresses, the significance of synthetic data in the automation of mobile and web apps will remain pivotal in delivering top-quality and dependable applications.


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