Whether you’re an experienced data logger user or just getting started, considering these important factors will help ensure that you choose the monitoring solution that’s right for you.
Understand the measurement accuracy you need
Don’t pay for accuracy you don’t need. Monitoring temperature in a research lab may require far greater accuracy than monitoring temperature in an office space.
Accuracy specifications vary widely
Look for charts that indicate accuracy over an entire measurement range, not just a single value. The accuracy a logger achieves at the high or low end of a given range may be far different from its mid-range accuracy.
Data logger resolution
Higher resolution (the number of increments of a value a data logger is capable of reporting) doesn’t necessarily mean better measurements – so a logger with 8-bit resolution, rather than 12-bit, may be just what you need.
Consult an experienced data logger supplier
If you're unsure about accuracy and resolution requirements for your specific monitoring application, an experienced data logger supplier can help determine which product best meet your needs.
Data Logger Durability
Data Logger Durability
What software does the data logger use?
For USB data loggers
Look for a data logger that works with a Microsoft- or Apple-compatible software package that:
- Is highly intuitive, so the learning curve is minimal
- Lets you configure the logger and offload data with point-and-click simplicity
- Includes optional packages to quickly batch-configure and readout multiple loggers
- Offers powerful data plotting capabilities and easily exports data to other programs (like Microsoft Excel) for analysis
For Bluetooth-enabled loggers
An app is all you need to configure Bluetooth-enabled loggers and manage data, so look for a logger that works with a free app that lets you easily:
- View data in graphs, check the operational status of loggers, share data files, and store data in the cloud
- Set up audible alarm notifications, so you’re alerted to any problems
For web-based data logging systems
For web-based systems, look for a cloud-based software platform that:
- Offers a variety of affordable (or even free) data plans
- Sends automatic text and/or email alerts
- Lets you easily configure sensors, logging rates, alarm notifications, and more
- Features a customizable dashboard for instant visualization of data
How much will owning the data logger cost over time?
Its important to understand the true cost ownership, over the long term. When talking with a potential supplier, you should ask:
- Will the logger need to be calibrated by the manufacturer periodically, and what will that cost?
- Will I need to invest in an expensive software package to analyze my results?
- Will I be able to use readily available batteries?
- Are cables included with the logger?
- What types of plans are available if I need to purchase a data plan for my web-based system?