By separating data acquisition and processing into two distinct pieces or applications, you can maintain two simpler applications rather than one complex application, and changes or additions to the acquisition or processing portion of the architecture can be done independently of the other.
Figure 4. Offline processing decouples analysis and reporting from acquisition, yielding a more modular, scalable approach.
With the offline approach to analysis and reporting, you can segment responsibilities among team members so that one developer can be responsible for acquiring the data and a separate developer can analyze and report on results. Offline analysis is also beneficial for scenarios in which you want to make comparisons among raw data between test runs over time, particularly when identifying process improvements. Finally, decoupling acquisition from analysis and reporting allows you to use external software tools such as DIAdem that are specifically designed for interactive offline analysis.
Dedicated post-processing software such as DIAdem is a natural extension to the LabVIEW 2010 tool chain for data acquisition. Using DIAdem – software specifically designed to handle and process large amounts of raw measurement data – you can drastically reduce the amount of time it takes to get from the data collection phase of your application to ultimately reaching an educated decision from your data.
Finding and Loading Data with DIAdem or LabVIEW Using the NI DataFinder
The DIAdem installation includes a technology called the NI DataFinder – available through LabVIEW applications via the LabVIEW DataFinder Toolkit – which automatically searches the local computer and indexes descriptive information stored in measurement files. Using DataPlugins, you can configure the NI DataFinder to parse descriptive information from any arbitrary custom data file format so that you can load information from the file with LabVIEW or DIAdem.
Figure 5. The NI DataFinder works seamlessly between DIAdem and LabVIEW and can help you construct queries to quickly locate your data.
Using DIAdem for Data Analysis
Much like LabVIEW, DIAdem includes hundreds of analysis tools for common engineering calculations including statistical analysis and histogram calculations, common mathematics, curve fitting, signal processing and filtering, 3D arithmetic, and matrix operations. Every single analysis function is configuration-based, meaning that you can use configuration dialog boxes to make selections corresponding to calculation parameters and even get a preview of the result of the calculation before it is actually performed. No programming is required to perform complex analysis using DIAdem.
Figure 6. DIAdem includes hundreds of out-of-the-box analysis functions that require no programming to configure and execute.
Creating Professional Reports and Templates in DIAdem
After you have analyzed your measurement data, you often need to create professional reports to share results with colleagues, suppliers, or customers. With DIAdem, you can construct reusable report templates using a WYSIWYG editor and then export reports to HTML, PDF, PowerPoint, printers, and all common image formats.
Figure 7. DIAdem can create and export professional reports to PDF, HTML, PowerPoint, images, and more