The importance of CAD data management

As businesses increasingly depend on intangible assets to create profit, the requirement to implement robust data management strategies becomes more critical. This applies equally to Computer Aided Design (CAD) data, where business capital relies almost solely on profit acquired from the sale of the data capital and assets contained in CAD drawings, models, and parts.

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What is Data Management?

Data management describes the practice of gathering, storing, and leveraging data safely and securely to inform decision-making and achieve positive business outcomes. When applied to CAD, data management refers to the same process, but in this context pertains to anything related to the data or information present in a CAD model or workflow.

What happens if I don’t have it?

To understand why data governance is important for organisations involved in CAD, let’s examine the threats a lack of CAD data management might pose:

Data Debt:

Data debt is an accumulation of problems in business processes and systems that result from lack of effective data management. Data debt is not uncommon, Experion’s 2020 Global data management research report identified data debt as an issue for 78% of organisations.

The word ‘debt’ in data debt refers to the accumulated cost of deferring or opting out of implementing data management, and the problems it can cause. Often initially unnoticed, an unmanaged natural proliferation of data produces a backlog of ignored information that will inevitably begin to damage business functions. Costs incurred from data debt are varied and can disrupt operations significantly or expose businesses to financial risk.

Lack of Security:

For CAD organisations, intellectual property in the form of model information and data, are some of their most vital and valuable business assets. And they are not alone, Experion’s 2020 Global data management research report concluded that 85% of organisations see data as one the most valuable business resources.

When data is stored and accessed from multiple locations, secure business data is vulnerable and more likely to be compromised. Modern CAD data management systems ensure that all data is secure and protected by user permissions.

Inefficiency and Risk:

If design teams operate outside of a common data environment and are unable to automatically track changes to a model or work on correct file versions, inefficiencies and mistakes in operations will inevitably arise. A lack of effective CAD data management can be expensive and cause avoidable delays and mistakes.

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What will a robust data management strategy offer your CAD organisation?

CAD data management provides designers with a central repository for information, where they can consolidate and organise model data, manage related documentation, collaborate, and track file and model revisions. If CAD professionals trust their data, it greatly reduces the amount of time they spend looking for the latest information and checking its provenance.


With appropriate data management, team members can collaborate on the same models at the same time, without overwriting each other’s data. This provides automatic change and revision management and ensures the accuracy of all design data and information.

Reduced Rework and Mistakes:

If data is distributed among various locations and systems, it becomes prone to duplication, making it difficult to identify correct or up-to-date file versions and errors more likely to occur. Data management solutions prevent and manage file duplication, giving design teams the confidence to know they are working on correct files, while simultaneously, retaining the quality and useability of their data assets.

Managing CAD files through a data management solution is shown to significantly reduce errors and rework, safeguarding organisations against unnecessary costs common with data mismanagement. The result is greater productivity.


Whether complying with general data regulations or industry-specific requirements, data management solutions enable your organisation to achieve data compliance. Empowering businesses to effectively demonstrate the health, traceability, provenance, and security of their CAD data.

Data Analysis and Informed Decision-Making:

Data-driven, informed decision-making has been proven repeatedly to produce positive business outcomes and growth. Adopting a healthy data management strategy will give you the ability to properly collect and manage CAD data, but also organise and analyse the same data to make well-informed decisions for the future of your business. Implementing data management procedures like gated release processes enables greater visibility and overview reporting on the progress of projects.

Systems Integration and Automation:

Data management solutions can connect, integrate, and optimise disparate business systems. This ensures the integrity of data is maintained on its journey through different programs, and a healthy data ecosystem is supported. Contributing to greater automation and control of all CAD data and related information.

Data management was once considered the exclusive responsibility of IT departments. Today, data management is recognised as a companywide challenge that requires buy-in from everyone, from business executives to personnel on the shop floor.

Considering CAD data management?

To understand the solutions, services, and support we can offer for data management, please get in touch with our experts:

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