Too often we hear about the words “data logging” or “data loggers” but what do these words truly refer to? What is the process involved in data-logging and how is data-logging essential in the everyday world?
What is data logging?
Data logging is basically the collection of data over a period of time. This is done through the use of data loggers, electronic devices which monitor and record parameters automatically. Data loggers allow the measurement, record, analysis as well as validation of environmental conditions. Often used in scientific experiments, data logging systems use sensors which are linked to a computer. Through the computer, data logging can be controlled.
What is the data logging process?
When discussing how data logging works; there is one major thing you need to remember and that is the fact that sensors play a crucial role in measuring physical properties. Sensors such as temperature, light, pressure, sound, acidity, heat and humidity are most often used in data logging. These sensors relay signals to an interface box which is connected to a computer. In turn, this interface box functions as a converter of analogue signals into digital signals which the computer understands. The computer will then take readings according to set intervals. These readings are then stored in table-like spreadsheets before being used for further analysis; readings may also be displayed as graphs.
In a different type of data logging called remote data logging, data is collected out in the field. After the readings are stored, they are brought back to the computer for them to be downloaded and then, analyzed. For this type of data logging, the equipment would have to be durable. For example, when measuring water level, the data logging tool should also be waterproof.
Example of data logging
A simple example of how data logging works is through measuring the rate at which water would cool down from a boiling point. Basically, you would need a temperature sensor that would be placed in the liquid. The sensor will then be connected to an interface box which is linked to a computer. The software for data logging would then do a reading every 25 seconds for, let’s say, 30 minutes. Afterwards, the readings will then be stored in a table/spreadsheet. Later on, analysis will follow. Results may even be presented in a graph.
Benefits of data logging
Data logging has helped many industries for further improvements and innovations. Here are some benefits of employing data-logging into the picture:
- There is a high accuracy rate when it comes to data gathered
- Data logging can function even without human intervention
- Data logging can be used when safety is a risk
- Data loggers can take readings whether for long or short periods of time
- Data loggers can be set up ahead to start at a certain time in the future.
- Data can be displayed through line, pie and bar graphs for analysis
- The values of the data can also be accessed.
- Data loggers help save time and costs