Design data is all content that is created in the design process that is needed to succesfully build and maintain your products.
Design data is for example the schematic of your PCB, but can also be a peice of VHDL code that is used for the FPGA on that board. But also architectural models, design specs and simulation models can be considered design data.
It is important to manage the design data properly. Not only at the moment of release, but also during the design cycle. Do you have the design status at the moment the review was done? And what was the exact data that was used in that delivery for that customer? Especially in these special cases, it is important that the data is well traceable.
But not only that, suppose you have more designers working on the same product together. How can they efficiently work toghether and maintain integrity of the data?
The solution is often a design data management system or revision control system like CVS, SVN or GIT. Or some specific system offered by the vendor of the design software.
But this is not the complete solution. The people involved need to be able to work with these systems properly. For example Design engineers, project leads, and support people need to be trained in the proper use of these systems. Do's and don'ts are important, but security is possibly an even more important aspect. Does everyone need to see all design data, including outside parties?
But there are other aspects to design data, and that are changes. Issues and change requests need to be managed well. And what issue is solved in which release? And will we implement this change? Or do we reject it, or wait? It is important to keep track of this information.
Another aspect of the delivery is releasing data. Questions like: 'What is the necessary data for production?' 'In which configuration it is released into?', 'Can I still use the previous version?' are important questions here, which may not be easy to answer.
Dizain-Sync can help you here. With our ready to roll ddm-in-a-box solution and our extensive knowledge on data management for the electronic design area, we know what the problem areas are and we can help you make a flying start to improve the design flow and its deliverables.