Many scientists use or have used LabView (by National Instruments) for data acquisition and experimental control. I used to too, but the cost of the hardware and the software is rather formidable (unless you have a large research budget), so I am attempting to run our torsion pendulum magnetometer using a python-capable A/D interface by a company called LabJack. $350 buys one a pretty capable interface that is easily controlled by Python. I have the U6Pro, which supposedly allows one to capture roughly 20 bit resolution (since the voltage range is \pm 10 volts, this gives a theoretical resolution of about 19 \mu V, which is pretty good.

Here’s a simple python script (see bottom of post) to:
a) read data from analog input channel 0 for a user specified time interval,

b) save the output time and voltage readings,

c) calculate the fluctuations in the time and voltage readings

(i.e. \delta t = t_n - t_{n-1}, and similarly for the voltage),

d) write out the time, voltage, and fluctuation data to 4 ascii files, and

e) make plots (via Matplotlib) of Voltage vs Time, and histograms

of the time and voltage fluctuations.

This is half baked code, and I didn’t even bother to label axes :-(.