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I am looking to have a web application tested and already have a large pool of Beta testers ready to go.

I am interested to know the best way for me to collate the feedback they give in terms of feature requests, bugs etc... so that any duplicate issues can be flagged. One example as to how this will be useful is that if enough people want a certain feature or spot a certain bug then I know it is most likely worth while looking into fixing.

In a nutshell I just need an efficient way of recording feedback from the testers that makes my job sieving through them as minimally time consuming as possible.

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Whatever works

To go into a little more detail:

The exact method you use to collate the data is up to you. If you can convince your testers to tell you which module or page the problem comes from as well as to describe the problem, you will be more able to use this to collate.

From my experience, your first pass will be to gather together everything that originates from the same location in the system. After that, the second pass is likely to group reports by common keywords - exactly what these are will depend on your application.

I've never found a way to identify duplicate requests without reading every request and examining them to work out what the actual problem or request is. The best I can suggest is to group them into progressively smaller collections of similar reports until you can be reasonably sure that each group refers to a single problem or feature request.

I've seen this done by shuffling paper, by lists of requests in spreadsheets, and by database queries. As long as the method you choose works for you without creating excessive extra work, it's good.

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