After reading our previous posts on inefficiency, you might be thinking, “I have a LIMS that takes care of transitioning from the wet lab to analysis for me.” While it is true that you have a LIMS in place, can you think of any LIMS that manages data through bioinformatics and reporting, while maintaining provenance through the whole process? Labs can configure their LIMS platforms to communicate with analysis tools, but in every instance, the result is a custom solution that simply “throws it over the fence” and does not track anything beyond the point of “sent to bioinformatics.” Data analysis software then only performs analysis and creates results, but these are not natively tied to any of the sample prep steps. In most cases, what actually happens is that a full bioinformatics team, or worse, a single over-worked bioinformatician, takes the raw data from the analytical system (e.g. sequencer, mass spec, or imaging system) and runs with it, only returning some type of analysis report. This results in a major inefficiency in laboratory data processing—separate and independent wet lab and analysis systems.
As we discussed in Stop Using Ad Hoc Systems to Maintain Sample and Data Provenance, maintaining full provenance of sample and experimental data through multiple systems is inefficient enough, so managing two completely different environments, wet lab and analysis, is even more inefficient. The solution to this inefficiency is to have both wet lab and bioinformatics working together on a common platform that enables direct communication between the two sides of the data-intensive laboratory operation. This way, the “what, when, where, and how” associated with experimental workflows extends to all analytical operations and manipulations of the data, thereby lengthening the provenance chain beyond where traditional LIMS stop.
With Lab7’s Enterprise Science Platform (ESP), sample and experiment tracking are designed to provide full transparency into your operations, both in the wet lab and in bioinformatics. This enables you to easily transition between the two sides of the lab while maintaining an uninterrupted provenance trail. As samples move from the lab into analysis, users can see results directly from Lab7 ESP as they become available, giving all stakeholders a detailed view of a sample’s status in its workflow. This means no more hunting around for spreadsheets, digging through complex file hierarchies, or emailing technicians for status reports.
Learn more about gaining efficiency in your lab by downloading our Five Strategies to Improve the Efficiency of Your Lab whitepaper.