After all, what good is data if it does not make sense? Furthermore, we have maintained for many years, that simply going out and collecting data in the field, then coming back to the office to interpret the data, is a flawed process. This is an important difference between test instrumentation that efficiently, but blindly collects and instrumentation that also efficiently collects, but lets the technician see and evaluate the data, as it is being collected, and enter notes, conclusions, and flags. This is the argument for instrumentation that permits in-depth troubleshooting if it is required. Let's finish the job, not leave it partly done!
We strongly believe that we should be interpreting the data as we collect it, this has so many advantages. If we see some data that is not right, we are in the ideal position to follow up immediately while we are in the plant, connected to the circuit. Follow up action might mean taking additional, more specialized measurements. It could mean simply entering the appropriate condition code into the software, so that the motor and circuit are flagged for extra attention. It might mean that the motor/circuit are removed from service right now, for detailed dismantling, inspection, and overhaul and repair if needed. It might mean the motor/circuit is flagged for detailed inspection/overhaul on the next shutdown. It might even mean that the data is wrong, and should be checked and retaken immediately. In our business there are few things worse than bad data. Suspect data should be discussed within the group involved (customer and vendor), so we can all learn from it. Certainly, thinking about and analyzing data as it is collected makes the job so much more interesting and challenging. What is the alternative? Collect the data blindly and quickly. Store it away in the computer until you get time to look at it. The worst case is when a machine fails, and then we look back at the data and realize we could have caught the problem before it turned into a blow; if we had looked and if we had understood what we were looking at.