5 Tips for Choosing your Research Lab Informatics Software

Michal Frenkiel

Michal Frenkiel

research data management


Nov 2020

The life science industry is struggling with the need to process vast amounts of data. The need to process complex data and derive insights from it is a challenge with which most research labs are coping. In order to reach research goals and shorten time to market the need for lab informatics software has never been stronger. Implementing advanced solutions such as AI, Big data, BI and cloud-based applications in the drug development industry can contribute to higher efficiency and productivity and result in cutting R&D lab costs.

Choosing an Informatics software is a big ordeal for biotech companies. There are so many products and solutions out there it could be overwhelming. Each product offers various features that don’t always fit your requirements, and some lack the solutions you need. Understanding your needs is crucial and helps avoid falling into occasional pitfalls. At the end of the day, we want our team to be productive and to be able to access the data easily without wasting time. As managers, we want to be able to make informed decisions, based on accumulated data. Following are 5 tips to help you outline the parameters you should consider when evaluating a solution for your biotech company.

Choose an all in one system

Choose a holistic system. You want to turn your lab into a smart laboratory. What does this mean? It means that you want one system that integrates all the components you need to manage your research: an ELN to manage your research project, LIMS components to manage your samples and inventory, automation to help with lab workflows and informatics.. You don’t need the best electronic lab notebook and the best LIMS or informatics system. You need an all-in -one solution that best serves you lab needs and specifications

Ascertain Integration possibilities

Integrating your research management system with your instruments or other systems in your laboratory is also key for your success. Check the API options when looking for an informatics software and make sure you can integrate all your systems easily. 

Make sure you can collaborate within context

To date, many research lab teams are working in various locations. In addition, due to COVID19, many of us are working remotely and today more than ever we look for tools that enable us to easily collaborate. When looking for the best informatics software, look for a system that was built with scientific research in mind. There are many solutions for team management but not all will allow you to manage your team within the project and allow you to communicate within context and annotate linked to the specific experiment.  Look for a solution that can help you not only forecast your project timelines but actually manage them in real-time using Gantt charts for example. 

Data centralization

Your experimental data comes from various sources. It is important to verify that the solution of choice facilitates data centralization and interlinking between data in order to avoid data silos that cause loss of information and prevents deriving insights. Look for a solution that will be able to integrate data from your experiments, instruments and link to your reagents and samples. 

Ability to get insights

Making sure you get full insights from research data is fundamental. Data tools that provide visibility into different aspects and angles are a great benefit or should we dare say a must.

Make sure you can design dashboards that give you a high-level view and comprehensive control of the data. Flexibility of analyzing tools, alerts settings and data display are the means for gaining control and efficiency.

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