Skip to main content

The Data Management Tools Electronics Engineers Need

Key Takeaways

  • Engineering teams use multiple data management tools for project and product management.

  • Some data management tools are built into ECAD/MCAD software to aid product design.

  • Enterprises do more than just data management and will require a set of applications for comprehensive product lifecycle management.

Data management tools

Every industry that designs and builds new products will create plenty of data in their daily activities. What used to be written on paper and stored in file cabinets is now almost entirely digital, with storage and organization often being implemented in the cloud. Product engineers in the electronics industry regularly use digitally-enabled data management tools that are an integral part of design software. Companies have moved their design tools, data, and collaborative communication into the cloud so that they can stay productive and manage data from anywhere.

With engineering teams working in a more collaborative and data-intensive environment than ever before, they need the best data management tools to help them stay productive. There are data management tool systems that act as standalone applications or that can integrate with engineering design software. Make sure you match the data management tools you need with your product data management process.

Data Management Tools for Engineers

Engineering teams in any field are in the business of building products that could be physical or digital. In either case, engineering teams will generate a large amount of design and engineering data associated with a project. Engineering teams use multiple applications to help them organize and track data for their products and to help them manage development progress throughout the course of the design phase.

Data management tools used by electronics engineering teams must fulfill certain tasks or track specific types of data. Some data management tools are highly specific to different processes and file types, while others are more general and are file type-agnostic. Some of the important processes and tasks that are performed with different types of data management tools are:


Data management tools need to store and catalog project files for the easy access and tracking of data. Project association is also important as well as the categorization of engineering data into different file types.

Communication and sharing

Cloud-based and local data management tools should provide sharing so that team members can get the data they need quickly and easily. Integration with communication tools also aids design collaboration.

Version control

A version control system is a file type-agnostic system that tracks changes to files, enables comparisons between revisions, and displays revision history.


Data management tools should allow teams to control data access, read/write permissions, upload/download privileges, and restrict other features in the platform as needed.


Some data management systems will need to integrate with other applications. For example, these could be desktop applications, databases, or web applications.

Backup and restore

Data management tools that are deployed in the cloud can provide backup of product data to a secure location. This ensures data will always be accessible, even in the event of a system crash or internal data breach.

From the above list, it should be clear that data management tools are used for a lot more than just creating a file system. Data management tools are helpful with everything from securing data to regulating access to important product information. Some of these systems can even be automated to some extent, which relieves the burden on engineers and allows them to work on new products.

However, data management tools aren’t the same as product management systems. Enterprises with multiple product lines and business units need comprehensive product management tools to help them take products to market and manage their entire lifecycle. These companies use a product lifecycle management (PLM) system to help them execute their go-to-market strategy and guide a product through its lifecycle.

PLM Systems: The Ultimate Data Management Tools

A PLM system is used to implement a product execution strategy that involves product data. In this way, these systems act as or integrate with data management tools that engineers use to track their project data. They enable a new set of tasks and processes that aren’t executed within data management tools, engineering design software, or project management applications:

  • Performing the same storage and organization tasks that would be implemented in data management tools, but spanning from an individual component to an entire assembly, documentation, and embedded/web application
  • Determining and assigning obsolescence status to each portion of a product (documentation, code, ECAD data, etc.), either by pulling/pushing data to an external source or by assigning it manually
  • Tracking inventory for each component, maintaining updated sourcing, implementing vendor relationship management and customer relationship management, and other business processes
  • Managing and tracking releases of project data into fabrication, assembly, distribution, and ultimately to customers
  • Enforcing part numbering, version control, revision tracking, and change order statuses on all data associated with a product

If you are looking for a scalable product data management solution that fits within enterprise PLM strategies, consider Allegro Pulse. Pulse features include a workflow engine, data management, security protocols, and search capabilities. And, Pulse integrates seamlessly into many design tools, allowing it to manage the design data behind the scenes, freeing up engineers to focus on their work instead of juggling design files.

Leading electronics providers rely on Cadence products to optimize power, space, and energy needs for a wide variety of market applications. If you’re looking to learn more about our innovative solutions, talk to our team of experts or subscribe to our YouTube channel.