Valid data are important to every aspect of a maintainability program. These data include data resulting from design analyses as well as data generated from maintenance actions both during development and during a product's useful life phase. For design, data are required for maintainability predictions, demonstration test development, maintainability model verification (including diagnostics), and as input to simulation models. Maintainability information collected from the field is important to determine actual performance, capture lessons learned, and to identify where improvements are required for product upgrades or new product development. Maintainability data analysis techniques are also important to understand so that effective and efficient use of the information can be made.
Because of the importance of data to the success of product development, careful consideration should be given to the kinds of data required, where to obtain the data, and how to analyze the data in a way that is cost-effective.