Six Reasons Your Next System Should Utilize
Stevens-Connect Online Data Management
By Adam Krumbein
Stevens Water Monitoring Systems, Inc.
Web services and on-line software programs continue to grow in popularity and functionality for both the consumer and business markets. These on-line applications enable the end-user to perform tasks online that were previously done on a traditional desktop or laptop computers, such as complex data processing and visualization.
Logging and processing of data from sensors in the environment can now easily be done online, with the Stevens-Connect Online Data Management service that reduces the complexity and cost of data collection, processing, storage, display, and analysis.
Whether retrofitting a data acquisition system that is in need of an upgrade, or planning a new installation, Stevens-Connect can meet your simple to most complex data acquisition applications (data logger not required).
1. Stevens-Connect Collects and Stores Your Data Online
The biggest advantage Stevens-Connect has over traditional data collection methods, such as manual site visits, is that all data is automatically uploaded to the Stevens-Connect servers as it is collected from sensors in the field, or at pre-set intervals throughout the day. Any site that has coverage from a cellular telephone network is an excellent candidate for an upgrade to Stevens-Connect, as a cellular data modem is all that is needed at most sites to get sensor data online.
Figure 1: Data collection path from sensors in the field, through Stevens-Connect, and to the end-user's computer or smart phone.
There are several advantages to a system that rapidly collects data and moves it to the Stevens-Connect servers:
- Data is stored and backed up online, and is safe in the event of a hardware failure at the data collection site, or a computer failure at the end-user location.
- Data can be processed online and displayed in an easy-to-understand visual format, saving the end-user time in data post-processing at the office.
- As data is continuously being collected from the data collection site, any potential sensor or hardware issues can be rapidly reported to the end-user and corrected. Waiting for several weeks or months to collect data by physical retrieval may reveal a problem after it’s too late.
2. Rapid Data Processing and Visualization of Your Collected Data
A key feature of a data collection system set up with Stevens-Connect is that the collected data can be automatically processed, formatted, and displayed in user-specified graphs and charts, without the end-user required to download any of the data or perform any of the post-processing work themselves. Stevens-Connect automatically provides the information needed to make actionable decisions, analysis, or reports based on collected data.
Figure 2: Examples of charts and graphs that are a standard feature of a Stevens-Connect system.
Alarm conditions (such as high or low water level notifications as just one example) can be displayed as they happen on Stevens-Connect. Furthermore, Stevens-Connect can send out SMS, email, or telephone alerts when preset alarm conditions are met, ensuring that proper steps are taken to control the situation as it happens, not after it’s too late.
All data collected by Stevens-Connect is available for download at any time, in many popular formats, including .CSV, XML and Excel. End-users who wish to perform more complex data analysis or need to input data collected into another program or database can easily access and download the raw data files on the Stevens-Connect Website at any time.
Figure 3: Raw data from sensors is available on Stevens-Connect, and can be downloaded at any time for additional analysis.
3. Time Savings Through Reduction in Site Visits for Data Collection
Utilizing the Stevens-Connect service, site visits for data collection can be reduced or eliminated, saving time and costs involved with field site visits.
Of course, occasional site visits cannot be removed entirely, as some sensors need routine maintenance or calibration, batteries need to be replaced, and other related tasks need to be performed from time to time.
However, installing a Stevens-Connect enabled system can reduce the number of site visits related to data collection tasks significantly. This can be especially useful when a network consist of sites spread out over a large area, or for applications where current data is needed for decision making on a daily basis.
With Stevens-Connect, important data in available online whenever and wherever it is needed, from any site connected to the system.
4. Simplification of Data Management, Data Loss Mitigation
With a Stevens-Connect enabled system, data management becomes centralized on the end-user’s Stevens-Connect account, making data management a simple task, as it’s already being handled by the program online.
With Stevens-Connect taking care of data management and storage needs, the end user is no longer responsible for maintaining a “master record” of this data on a local computer or server at their office, and all historical data is isolated from any potential loss because it has been backed up and stored on a secure server online.
5. Stevens-Connect Systems Are Fully Customizable
Stevens understands that every data collection system is different, and has designed Stevens-Connect to be fully adaptable to unique data collection situations.
Each Stevens-Connect system is individually designed to meet the end-user’s requirements for data collection, displays and graphs, alarm settings, notifications, and other features. Unique features specific to individual systems can be easily implemented into a Stevens-Connect system.
6. Many engineering firms, research organizations and others are already benefiting from Stevens-Connect
Since the launch of Stevens-Connect in 2010, it has been utilized by a wide variety of organizations, all who share a similar need – the availably of their data online in any easy to understand format.
Figure 4: Soil bioremediation system utilizing Stevens-Connect for data collection and reporting. Read a full article about this system.
When planning your next data collection system, consider Stevens-Connect as a cost effective way to collect, display, and archive your data. Contact Stevens Water at (800) 452-5272 or firstname.lastname@example.org to discuss your needs or receive a demo of a live Stevens-Connect System.