The Data Analysis WorkbeNch (DAWN) is a data visualisation and analysis software package developed at the Diamond Light Source.

It is a free, open-source application (available to download from www.dawnsci.org), and can read the majority of data formats written by the beamlines at Diamond (and many other facilities).

DAWN's user interface components are shared with the Generic Data Acquisition (GDA) application used on the beamlines to drive the experiments, so DAWN's user interface should feel familiar to users of Diamond.


DAWN has many different features, from data visualisation and processing, through to being a full python integrated development environment.

To keep the user interface simple, these different features are separated into mini programs called Perspectives.

There are two kinds of perspective in DAWN, generic perspectives (which are useful for many different techniques) and science specific (only analyse a specific technique, may need a file structure that matches that from a specific beamline).

Generic Perspectives

Below is a brief description of the generic perspectives.


The best place to start. A simple perspective for viewing data from many different file formats, in many different ways.


Specifically for viewing data from scans across two spatial dimensions (e.g grid, line, spiral scans of an XY stage). Can be used to simultaneously visualise scans taken at different spatial resolution and on-axis white light images.  Only loads Nexus files that match a specific structure.


The Processing perspective allows sequences of processing steps to be build and applied to stacks of data. The processing steps only work on image (2D) or XY (1D) data, but can be applied to much higher dimension data (e.g. the 4D dataset produced during the grid scan of an imaging detector). The most common use for this perspective is the reduction of 2D powder diffraction or small angle scattering data to patterns of intensity vs q (or two theta). Data can be processed both in the DAWN user interface and by running DAWN in headless mode (from the command line, without the user interface).


Python scripting, based on PyDev 

Science Perspectives

Below is a brief list of the science technique specific perspectives.

Powder calibration