R&D organizations are responsible for the creation of new products, as well as refinements of existing ones. This process generates vast amounts of data, and much like the proverbial “needle in a haystack,” it contains valuable insights — if only you can uncover them.

Unlocking the value of this data goes beyond providing indicators of performance. It extends into the areas of predictive analytics – speeding up the time it takes to execute through innovation and into production. These benefits are why Big Data is often referred to as the “new oil.” It’s an asset class that’s generating significant economic growth.

As a result, within many R&D labs the technology used for recording research data, as well as understanding the usefulness of that data, is of growing — and critical — importance. There are significant opportunities for R&D labs that can leverage their data, but there are also growing risks for those that cannot.

Common Data Challenges

R&D organizations often face challenges when using outdated laboratory data processes, whether paper, Excel spreadsheets, or one or more legacy data systems. In larger multi-site organizations, it’s not unusual to have multiple legacy LIMS with varying levels of capability and interconnectedness, resulting in different levels of efficiency and standardization.

Challenges that frequently result from obsolete (or non-existent) data practices include:

  • Inconsistent standards for testing methods and data storage.
  • Variations in processes and procedures across different labs and locations.
  • Different levels of data access security requirements.
  • Variations in how data is used outside of the lab.
  • Lack of integration with other business systems and data sources.
  • Varying levels of processes when interacting with external third parties.
  • Workflow flexibility resulting from ad-hoc requests, non-targeted testing, methods on the go, and similar situations.

All of these challenges add up, to the point where as much as 70% of lab workers’ time can be wasted on administrative tasks, preparation work, finding and cleaning data, or reporting. Fortunately, there’s a better way to take control of your data — and reap numerous profitable benefits along the way.

LIMS Provides a Modern Data Solution

A LIMS (LabVantage, in particular!) resolves all the challenges listed above by providing a centralized system that supports all of your labs and locations – harmonizing procedures and consolidating data to one system of record.

Here are just a few of the ways a state-of-the-art R&D LIMS can help you run your lab more efficiently and stay ahead of your competition:

  • Organize R&D data into projects, studies and experiments — This allows accurate information to be quickly searched and found later.
  • Utilize resources to the fullest potential — With an extensive selection of tools for resource monitoring and work assignments, a LIMS allows you to maximize productivity and manage your daily operations with available resources.
  • Submit requests simply —An easy-to-use request and sample submission function allows researchers to quickly transmit requests to your laboratory, follow up on progress, and benefit from the results. (In LabVantage 8.7, we’ve introduced the LabVantage Portal. This secure, web-based interface allows your clients to request testing, submit sample data, order kits, retrieve results and reports, track shipments and more — all without the need for direct assistance from your team — while reducing delays and human errors.)
  • Extract data quickly for further analysis —Much R&D research is traditionally done outside of LIMS, using various statistical tools and other software. LabVantage can be directly integrated with various software packages, ensuring that data can be always quickly searched and easily exported in various formats.
  • Store and share experiment data with an ELN —Electronic Laboratory Notebooks (ELNs) enable the flexible storage of both structured and unstructured scientific data. You can collaborate with a team and share research information. All content is searchable, and you can publish notebooks with personalized layouts directly in PDF and Word formats.
  • Share knowledge but keep control of IP —A LIMS allows you to share your data with only the right people. Intellectual Property (IP) stays safely in the hands of your organization, archived in a structured way to enable searching when needed for new research.
  • Access from any device and reduce IT maintenance costs — With a browser-based LIMS, you can significantly reduce your IT maintenance costs while allowing your users to access lab information from any device via a standard web browser. (LabVantage, for example, is a pure HTML5 compliant browser-based system with zero footprint at the user level. There are no client programs to install and maintain and no applets or plugins to be managed. LabVantage also increases technical scalability by using standard Java EE application servers and modern databases.)

Replacing obsolete data management strategies with the data-leveraging power of a state-of-the-art LIMS will enable you to innovate faster, collaborate smoothly, and increase your efficiency by eliminating silos of data. Reach out to see how LabVantage LIMS can power your R&D.