Data acquisition

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When walking through this floor scale, the weight and size of the penguin are automatically recorded.

Data acquisition refers to all methods of simultaneous or chronological measurements and counts , if necessary including time stamps for measurable or countable data and groups of related data.


What is characteristic is the immediate and direct accessibility of the measured variable or a substitute variable that is physically clearly linked to it. This is the subject of measurement technology in all known forms. For detecting includes reading ( English reading ) of identification features by means of suitable identifiers and readers.

In a different or more general meaning, data acquisition is a "work process with which the resulting data is converted into a machine-readable form and stored on data carriers ". It is often understood as the recording activity of a user on the computer . See also input (computer) .

Differentiation from the mere collection of data

In contrast to the acquisition, the data acquisition (English: inquiry ) is a mathematically qualified substitute method, which only connects an inaccessible measured variable with a sufficient clarity for the intended purpose with a recorded auxiliary variable and calculates it without direct time constraints. This is the subject of the representative sample or the retrospective data analysis and the methods of descriptive statistics in all known forms.

Data is therefore never collected at the same time (online). In general (non-technical) linguistic usage , data collection is often equated with data collection .

measuring technology

In the measurement technology is meant by data collection ( engl. Acquisition data , short DAQ ) receiving analog signals by means of suitable hardware (e.g., as a data acquisition card ). With the help of an analog-digital converter, digital measurement data are generated, which can then be further processed by software . A distinction is made between off-line and on-line data acquisition.

Control technology

For control technology , the term data acquisition was defined in DIN 19222:

" Collect data
by measuring or counting and, if necessary, gain analog or digital data by converting signals"

- DKE German Commission for Electrical, Electronic and Information Technologies in DIN and VDE : DIN V 19222: 2001-09, 4.3.1

Note: DIN 19222 has been replaced by DIN EN 60050-351.


In logistics and trade , data acquisition is understood to be the reading of barcodes or transponders using automatic systems. There are two cases to be distinguished. Often only a character string is read, which serves as an identifier for an object, for example an item at a scanner checkout . With the advent of EAN128 , two-dimensional barcodes and transponders that can be freely written with data, information is increasingly being transported. This can e.g. B. best before dates, sender and recipient addresses but also production and safety information. Comparable to the writing on the storage and transfer of information between people, it is crucial that the information is stored on the data carrier (barcode / transponder) for later machine reading .

As part of the Industry 4.0 data collection increases by leaps and bounds as more and more material flow objects (eg. As items , products , packages , containers , transport ) by a machine-readable identification can be identified (eg. As barcode , QR code ). More and more material flow objects are now being identified by electronic identification media (e.g. RFID) and can thus be recognized and recorded electronically. With the help of electronic location systems (e.g. GPS ) and the Internet, the local position of cyber-physical objects can often be determined, which makes it possible to track an object ( tracing ) in the entire supply chain .

See also

Individual evidence

  1. ^ Hermann Engesser (ed.): Duden, Informatik: a subject dictionary for study and practice. Dudenverlag, Mannheim 1993, ISBN 3-411-05232-5 .