Managing Energy Data

May 26, 2009 | 00:00

Managing Energy Data

How you manage energy data depends on how you see energy. To most of us, energy suggests vigour, vitality, an ability to get things done. Scientists and engineers make that impression more precise. To them energy is not just a metaphor; it is a quantity they can describe with numbers. A scientist or engineer can watch something happen and measure the energy involved. The measured energy describes not just a vague ability to get things done, but how much gets done and how fast it happens.

Scientists and engineers call such measurements energy data. 'Data' is the Latin plural of 'datum', meaning 'given'. By using measured energy data as the starting point, scientists and engineers can draw important inferences about natural systems and human technologies. When scientists or engineers gather and analyze energy data they always have a purpose in mind. The purpose determines what data to gather and how, how to analyze them and what inferences to draw. Scientists and engineers manage the data accordingly. Energy data help them understand how the world works.

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