Environmental data monitoring is becoming increasingly important for companies that need to store sensitive products, create temperature-controlled supply chains, and craft meticulous quality assurance programs. It’s no surprise that these firms are turning to powerful technology products that enable them to collect, store, and organize important data related to storing and transporting their products.
Luckily, an increasing amount of hardware and software solutions are now on the market that are designed to make collecting and storing data easy and reliable. However, navigating which technologies make the most sense for a company can be challenging given how many are on offer. Even understanding the shades of difference between these different options is difficult.
That said, let’s break down the most powerful solutions for recording environmental data accurately and organizing those data sets, beginning with data loggers.
What Is a Data Logger?
To put it simply, a data logger is a small electronic device that collects and records environmental data such as temperature, humidity, and differential pressure of the area in which they are placed. The reason data loggers are so helpful is that they can be programmed to collect this data in an automated way, which limits human error and maximizes data accuracy.
Most data loggers also make use of internal storage to house data locally. This data can then transferred to external hard drives or computer systems where they candatadata analyzed using software. Data analysis software can be used to glean essential patterns, conclusions, or irregularities in data sets that can later inform business decisions.
Some data analysis software can even make use of machine learning algorithms to parse collected data and send alerts to management if environmental conditions have varied significantly.
Most companies that must keep storage facilities at specific temperature ranges will also execute a temperature mapping strategy. That’s because temperatures can often vary in different areas of the same storage facility based on environmental factors like ventilation, sun exposure, or inventory load. To account for this, companies will place several data loggers in different places within the facility that will collect temperature data from all areas of the unit.
This data can then used to create a temperature map. Which will visually represent the range of temperatures within the facility. Some data loggers can even use WiFi or Bluetooth technology to wirelessly transmit this data to external software. That will use it to create a real-time temperature map of the storage facility. That means managers can see temperature maps that will continuously update based on the latest temperature data they receive from data loggers.
Temperature mapping techniques have used not only for supply chain management. But also for meteorology and weather tracking, alongside other technologies. That can help to map wind patterns. Temperature mapping also gives us insight into important environmental issues such as climate change. The production of urban heat islands that put city-dwellers at risk.
Bluetooth Data Loggers
Unlike most data loggers, which require managers to periodically extract data and transmit it to an external computer or hard drive, Bluetooth data loggers can transmit data wirelessly and automatically.
Typically, bluetooth data loggers will transmit environmental data to a gateway device, such as a smartphone. That has connected to the internet. That gateway device can then send that data to external computers or software systems over the internet.
As you might expect, Bluetooth data loggers do offer a variety of benefits. They minmize the steps management must take to extract data and minimize human error. Certain Bluetooth data loggers can also configured to work with a gateway device to provide near real-time environmental data.
That means that managers will able ot track changes in temperatures live, rather than extracting and reviewing data after. it’s collected and stored on the data logger. Regardless of what kind of data logger you choose to use. it’s important to select the right kind of data space solution.
Receiving the data earlier also means that managers can start to take on administrative tasks. Such as formatting the data to prepare it for regulators, sooner. That can translate into enhanced productivity and compliance procedures. That save companies immense amounts of time and money.
Web-Based and Cloud Storage Data Loggers
Another popular solution for companies that wish to take advantage of real-time data. That is wirelessly transmitted are internet-enabled data loggers. These data loggers have able to connect to the internet themselves, without relying on a gateway device.
Web-based data loggers have becoming increasingly common since many companies have choosing to store data on the cloud instead of on their own native hard drives. Cloud storage can be more affordable, easily scalable, and secure.
Companies that store data on the cloud typically rent hardware infrastructure from a third party. Despite its many advantages, cloud storage does come with its own set of privacy and security concerns that companies must take seriously. It’s important to verify the integrity, security protocols. And competency of a third-party cloud provider as part of your data due diligence before choosing to work with them.
USB Data Loggers
USB data loggers have another popular choice for companies that need to collect, format, and analyze accurate environmental data. USB data loggers have often seen as the most secure and reliable option for collecting. And storing data since they minimize potential points of cybersecurity vulnerability.
Transmitting data over Spectrum wifi or bluetooth connections can potentially make. The data more vulnerable to malicious actors who exploit vulnerabilities in the internet or Bluetooth networks.
USB data loggers also limit latency, which translates to data being transmitted more quickly to external devices. They have also less subject to potential internet or Bluetooth outages as well as other disruptions that could interfere with data transfers.
How Data Loggers Work in Different Industries
Data loggers have essential in creating temperature controlled supply chains. Also known as cold chain storage, in a variety of different industries. The food and beverage industries use data loggers to make sure that food stays at sufficiently low temperatures throughout transport in the cold chain. Protecting consumers from foodborne illness outbreaks.
The pharmaceutical industry uses data loggers to transport medical products such as vaccines to healthcare facilities and patients. Data loggers can programmed to automatically send alerts to manufacturers. If temperatures within storage facilities move outside of safe ranges.
Climate scientists and environmentalists use data loggers to record significant changes in the environment. Data loggers have also used in the aerospace industry to monitor mechanical. And weather conditions to ensure safe flight.
To sum up, it’s clear that a variety of different kinds of data loggers are now on the market. Each with their own advantages and disadvantages. After carefully considering your specific needs, consider what different types of data loggers have to offer before making a decision. About what data logger makes the most sense for your company.