Sanity checks: A 6 Step Easy Guide For Beginners


If you are new to the dynamic business environment and are not familiar with this word Sanity checks, this article is for you. Sanity checks are done to ensure that the developer has applied some form of rationality while creating the software. Read on further to understand and learn what sanity checks are and how can they serve a purpose in today’s world. Sanity checks is a technique for testing software and doing a quick examination of the characteristics of the release to ensure that the same mistakes are not further repeated. 

  1. Definition of sanity checks or sanity testing
  2. What is Sanity Check?
  3. Features of sanity checks
  4. Purpose of sanity checks
  5. Steps in sanity checks
  6. Why data sanity check is important in BA?

1) Definition of sanity checks or sanity testing 

Sanity testing or sanity checks is a subsection of regression tests that is focused on one or a few zones of functionality.

2) What is Sanity Check?

Sanity checks are an unplanned form of testing. Basic tests are conducted by the testing team focusing on the new change, functionality or its impacts. The aim is to test the working of the application after the change. Sanity checks help to identify any dependant missing functionalities and does not aim at catching all the mistakes.

Sanity tests save a lot of time by quickly identifying the bug and save time by sending the release back to the developer if it happens to be of poor quality. Sanity testing means a basic test to evaluate quickly whether a result or claim of a calculation is true. The main criteria are to rule out the obvious fake results and not to catch every conceivable error. Tester acceptance testing is another name for sanity testing. Now that we have discussed what is sanity testing let’s move on to its purpose and application. 

3) Features of sanity checks: 

  1. It is a subset of regression testing.
  2. It is an unscripted test.
  3. It is undocumented.
  4. Sanity testing is normally performed by testers.
  5. Sanity testing is deep and narrow where limited topics are covered deeply.

4) Purpose of sanity checks: 

Running sanity checks is a key factor in the data wrangling process. Sanity checks enable you to check whether the environment is functioning efficiently and as expected. Any bugs in the environment are taken care of due to sanity testing. The concept of a leading indicator is similar to sanity checks. 

5) Steps in sanity checks:

The sanity testing tester needs to choose test cases from ones already designed test function. The following steps may be considered in a sequence while conducting sanity tests: 

  • Recognize the newly added features and functionalities, along with the changes or modifications introduced in the code during the bug fixing process.
  • Evaluate these recognized changes and features to ensure their proper and intended working. 
  • Next, test and consider all the parameters which are related, elements of the evaluated features above, associated functionalities and changes to ensure their expected and appropriate functioning. 
  • If everything goes well then build can be put to more strenuous and thorough testing. 

The steps that should be paid heed to before testing sanity checks are as follow:

  • The sanity check: Is the ratio logical? 

A ratio has the following characteristics: 

  1. It is comprised of only two metrics: To avoid the extreme difficulty of the data making sense the ratio must be only of two metrics. One of the most important part to look into while conducting the sanity check is that both the components of your ratio are raw metrics. Your ratio will inevitably be comprised of more than two raw metrics, if you use such a metric that utilizes a ratio as a numerator or denominator, making it complex and ineffective.
  2. It tells something about its component’s interaction: Instead of focusing on the components itself, ratios are used to summarize or illustrate the communication between components. Hence ensure that the interaction is a meaningful one.
  3. Relevance test: Is the ratio pertinent to your business objective? 

Metrics can help you with two types of business objectives namely micro-objectives and macro-objectives. Macro-economic objectives look into the overall success of your campaign or business. This is most likely profit or recurring revenue from the perspective of your company. The objectives which measure how effective your efforts are rather than the business as a whole are micro. Micro objectives must be related to at least one macro objectives to ensure that you are on the correct track with your business activities.

  • Time test: 

A ratiometric is valued only when its changes are monitored over time and the business actions are adjusted accordingly. A metric has undergone the test of time if it has these following two attributes:

  1. The metric will change over time owing to the results of your action: It must be made sure that ratios are chosen significantly over time based on your business actions. Example, the revenue of your product may be a pertinent metric to your business but if any cost-cutting activities are not conducted this ratio will remain standing for a long period of time. Hence the metric might not possess any use to the business.
  2. The ratio is based on direction: A metric which is directional indicates negative or positive implications for your business. This happens when the metric rises or falls over time. 

6) Why data sanity check is important in BA?

Sanity check allows you to identify bugs easily and before time. It is ensured that bugs have been fixed and confirmed that there are no further issues that have come up due to the new changes. Sanity checks are also done to determine rationality and correctness of software and whether the most recent fixes in the bugs have affected the functionality of any component. 


Sanity testing helps in quickly identifying the defects in the core functionality and can be carried out in lesser time, in a cost-efficient way. No documentation is required and if any defects are found in the project it is rejected which in turn helps to save time and efforts for the execution of regression tests. Sanity tests also give quick status about the release and plan the next tasks accordingly. After reading the above article we hope that you have understood sanity check meaning and have a clear idea about sanity check software.

If you are interested in making it big in the world of data and evolve as a Future Leader, you may consider our Integrated Program in Business Analytics, a 10-month online program, in collaboration with IIM Indore!


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