By Anthony J. Lockwood
Dear Desktop Engineering Reader:
Managing the multi-megabytes of data that you’ve gathered monitoring a system no matter the stage — design, test, construction, operational, or all four — is a bear. Using a business application dragooned into engineering to mine and analyze large volumes of data in all sorts of formats and scattered about drives eats up time, frays nerves, and depresses the bottom line. Is that you? Then take a good, long look at DIAdem from National Instruments. It could be what you need.
What DIAdem does is help you find, load, visualize, analyze, and report measurement data acquired from data acquisition processes as well as data generated during process simulations. NI calls DIAdem “a software tool” optimized for large data sets and designed to facilitate data analysis and reporting.
Yep, but “tool” understates what I’ve seen in DIAdem over the years. It’s really an environment that operates like engineers and scientists think. Within its environment, you have simple or advanced search tools to find, corral, and mine lodes of data. DIAdem comes with a data management system that provides advanced search and data mining functionality. You tell it where your data resides, say locally or on a network, and it automatically indexes metadata. It can import data in all sorts of formats, leverage standard databases like SQL, and export results to binary, ASCII, and Excel files and databases.
DIAdem has hundreds of built-in, engineering-focused analysis functions in its DIAdem ANALYSIS package. Here, you have a toolkit that goes from curve fits, running averages, and linear regressions to such statistical functions as standard deviation, variance, mean values, and minimum/maximum values.
Visualization features include the ability to overlay traces and zoom/scroll through them to locate points of interest. You can create custom layouts to display data and synchronize data with, oh, video, 3D models, or GPS displays. Reporting includes the ability to design custom templates and export reports in sharable formats like PDF and HTML.
NI just announced DIAdem 2012. It’s said to offer features that make data analysis and reporting simpler and more efficient, such as an object-oriented VBScript API (applications programming interface) for report automation and scalable background images for 2D charts. It also has new analysis functions on its list of enhancements.
DIAdem comes in three flavors — base, advanced, and professional — so maybe not everything I mentioned comes in the base edition. From the links at the end of today’s Pick of the week write-up, you can read and view more, and you can sign-up for an evaluation copy of the professional edition of DIAdem to really learn more.
I’ve known and watched DIAdem for years now. It could be a game changer for you.
Thanks, Pal. — Lockwood
Anthony J. Lockwood
Editor at Large, Desktop Engineering
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