Data Acquisition and Analysis Software

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DAQ software serves the following purposes:

  • Acquire data at specified sampling rate
  • Acquire data in the background while processing in foreground
  • Stream data to and from disk (hard drive)
  • Integrate different DAQ boards in a computer and use various functions of a DAQ board from a single user interface.
  • Record, store, analyze, and present data (numerically and graphically)

During data acquisition, the chosen software requires the following information:

  • Device number(s)
  • Channel(s) that is/are being used
  • Sampling Rate

The software -- working with device drivers and firmware -- gets this information automatically once the initial (installation) setup is completed. DAQ software is often used to perform system simulations (via many commonly-used filters that are integrated into the software package), digital signal processing, and statistical functions.

Basic data acquisition (DAQ) software allows one to program and configure the interface of a data acquisition system.

High-performance DAQ software automatically generates code, performs data acquisition or generation, and analyzes and presents the data without any programming.

Task-controlling DAQ software may be used to:

  • start / stop a counter
  • send commands to an analog-to-digital converter
  • acquire data points over time from a sensor

DAQ software includes applications for:

  • data mining: pattern-finding software used to analyze large data sets. May be used to model or find optimal operating processes. Can also aid companies design products/services to best serve a variety of their clients.

  • data collection: usually device-specific software used to obtain and organize information. Sensors and portable computers/devices may also use data-collection software.

  • data capture

Features to look for in a DAQ software package:

  • Real-Time Analog/Digital Signal Acquisition and Display
  • Analog/Digital Signal Generation
  • Digital I/O
  • Counter/timer I/O
  • Custom Instrument Panels
  • Signal Processing Analysis
  • Mathematical and Statistical Analysis
  • PID / Process Control
  • Database Connectivity
  • Sound and Vibration Analysis
  • Order Analysis
  • Built-in Data-Management Tools
  • Cross-Platform Compatibility
  • Script Programming Language
  • Ability to import or export to popular spreadsheet or database programs like Excel or Access

Examples of some of the most popular DAQ software*:

  • DASYLab — icon-based DAQ, graphics, control and analysis software. No programming necessary. (DasyLab).

  • LabView — graphical development environment for creating flexible and scalable test, measurement, and control applications (National Instruments).

  • InstaCal — Installation, configuration and test application that manages everything about your DAQ hardware. Simply plug in a plug-and-play device, such as PCI or USB hardware components. InstaCal detects the hardware and assigns resources automatically. Set and store special features of the DAQ board to customize your software programs to run as you would like -- all settings are saved. Available from Measurement Computing.

  • TracerDAQ — an out-of-the-box, fully-configured strip chart recorder, data logger, and scope application. Combined with USB hardware, TracerDAQ delivers very fast time to first measurement. Once your hardware is installed, TracerDAQ will enable you to start recording and charting your measurements very quickly. Available from Measurement Computing.

  • MATLAB from Mathworks — an intuitive language and a technical computing environment. It provides core mathematics and advanced graphical tools for data analysis, visualization, and algorithm and application development.

  • WinDaq/XL — WinDaq-to-Excel Real Time Link (Dataq Instruments).

  • DaqViewXL — Data Acquisition Software for Microsoft Excel (Omega Engineering).

  • iNET-iWPLUS — Data Acquisition and Control Software for use with instruNet Data Acquisition Systems (Omega Engineering).

  • SWD-DASYLAB DASYLab — Data Acquisition System (Omega Engineering).

  • Traditional NI-DAQ (National Instruments).

* Some software may be designed to operate only with the same manufacturer's hardware.

Updated: Tuesday, March 3, 2020 22:55 PST