Spadework is the term we use for information testing, gathering and compiling. ( spading / spader /spade ). See below for more in-depth information on the term.
preliminary or initial work, such as the gathering of data, on which further activity is to be based.
Idiom & phrase of "do the spadework":
Make the preliminary preparations or do the preliminary research for something. For example, "The department head did all the spadework for this agreement".
This expression transfers the heavy spading required to prepare for planting to other kinds of preperation.