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Data Analysis Fundamentals: Data Management

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Data Management

04.04

00:00 - We've already discussed the importance of data management.
00:03 However in this module we're going to expand on it further.
00:07 As you continue to clock up your racing mileage, you're going to generate a lot of datalog files and that can be immensely beneficial as historic data when you come back to a racetrack you've previously competed at.
00:21 This can help fast track getting you up to speed the next time you visit the track and for this reason it's important to be able to access relevant logs quickly and easily.
00:32 Most analysis packages will provide a specific folder where the files are stored and it pays to familiarise yourself with this location as it's important when it comes to backing up your files, which we'll discuss shortly.
00:46 Usually the log files will then be further separated based on location or track.
00:50 And when you select your venue at the start of a race meeting, this will also ensure the log files are stored in the correct folder.
00:58 There's usually a lot of other data you can also incorporate into your log file and while in the stress of a race meeting it can be tempting to ignore adding more detail than is absolutely necessary, it's well worth the extra few seconds it can take to be thorough here.
01:15 In particular we want to know what particular car the log file is associated with.
01:19 If you're using an enclosed logger or a dash logger, then this is normally only a parameter you need to set once.
01:27 The logger's serial number will be associated with that particular car.
01:31 It can require a little more consideration if you're using a portable logger and swapping it frequently between different cars.
01:38 If you've got multiple drivers racing the same car which is common in endurance racing, you'd want to make sure that the log file is associated with the correct driver.
01:47 This is very important if you want to use a driver's lap as a reference to help improve a slower driver for example.
01:55 Beyond these basics, we also will usually have the ability to select the event and the session.
02:01 This might read something like, 2020 National Endurance Championship Round 1 as the event and then free practice 1 or qualifying for the session.
02:12 This makes it easy to come back and review a specific session at a later point.
02:16 Next, we can add some comments around a particular session and this is a good place to add any details relevant to the outing.
02:24 Perhaps you've tried a stiffer spring rate or altered the ride height.
02:28 This would be a good place to make a note for later reference.
02:32 Some analysis packages will go to the extent of allowing you to store a full setup sheet with your log file.
02:39 And while this is beneficial at the upper levels of professional racing, it's very likely overkill for those of us at the enthusiast level.
02:47 Personally I would suggest keeping track of your basic setup for an event and then noting any key changes that have been made between sessions inside of the log file.
02:58 The other aspect that is worth mentioning in this module is backing up of your data.
03:02 Years of historic data on a range of different cars and become an invaluable resource and you don't want to lose files due to a harddrive failure in your laptop.
03:12 Of course you can choose to manually back up your files into an external harddrive after a race weekend however I find that most people simply forget to do this consistently until it's too late.
03:24 Meaning that you'll inevitably lose some of your files.
03:27 These days with relatively affordable cloud storage, I use Google Drive to store and sync all my log files to the cloud.
03:35 This means that although I'm operating off a laptop's harddrive at a race meeting where I may not have WiFi access, as soon as the laptop has WiFi access again, the new log files will automatically sync to the cloud.
03:48 This is about as foolproof as data backup gets because it removes the human factor.