GCSE ICT Data logging

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1. Introduction
The term 'data logging' refers to collecting or gathering data over a period of time.
Over the next few pages, we will be looking at data logging in more detail and finding out what
it means.
Use the menu on the lefthand side to navigate through the pages.
When you have read all of the theory, have a go at the quiz to see how much you have
understood.

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How Data is Collected
Sensors are used to take readings or measurements at regular intervals of their environment.
The sensors could be collecting data on a wide range of thing such as temperature, humidity,
pressure, wind speed, water currents, electrical voltage, pH readings etc.
The sensors may be either analogue or digital. If they take analogue readings, an Analogue to
Digital Converter (ADC) will be needed to convert the signal into digital data which the
computer can understand.…read more

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Data Logging Examples
In a Hospital
When a patient has had a major operation or is very ill, they may be in the Intensive Care Unit
(ICU).
While they are in the ICU, they will be constantly monitored to make sure that their condition
is stable and not deteriorating.
A heart monitor will take readings of their heart rate and pattern of beats.…read more

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Special software (data logging software) takes the data and analyses it
The results of the analysis are presented as graphs and tables
The results are printed out
Racing Cars
Some companies invest millions into developing stateoftheart racing cars.
They want to know every aspect of how their car is performing so that they can ensure the
engine is calibrated correctly, the right amount of fuel is being delivered, the best speeds are
being achieved etc.
Digital electronic dashboards are used inside the cars.…read more

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Remote Data Logging
Data often needs to be collected from places that are nowhere near a nice cosy office.
The data might need to be collected at all times of the day and night or during weekends
when people might be away from work.…read more

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Logging Interval or Period
The 'Logging Interval' is the period of time over which measurements are taken by the
sensors.
If the measured value changes very rapidly then the time interval needs to be rapid as well,
otherwise crucial events will be missed. On the other hand, if the data is going to change very
slowly, then you would take readings much less often so that you do not get too much data.…read more

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Advantages and Disadvantages
Advantages
Data Logging can be used in remote or dangerous situations
Data logging can be carried out 24 hours a day, 365 days of the year
Time intervals for collecting data can be very frequent and regular, for example, hundreds of
measurements per second
can be set up to start at a time in the future
No need to have a person present
Data logging is often more accurate because there is no likelihood of human error
Disadvantages
If the data logging…read more

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Equipment can be expensive for small tasks
The equipment will only take readings at the logging interval which has been set up. If
something unexpected happens between recordings, the data will not be collected.…read more

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