The Digital Lab is Here
When advanced LIMS software surpassed conventional paper-based record-keeping in the lab, there was an improvement in operations across every industry. Automated data collection directed efficiencies at the bench.
Image Credit: LabVantage Solutions, Inc.
Knowledge-sharing between partners accelerated due to cloud-based solutions. Integrated security and permission features strengthened data integrity. Almost every-single lab in operation right now that has benefitted from this leap towards digital transformation.
That was then. Today, progressive lab managers are taking the next major leap, this time from data collection to data science. Previously, the lab operator’s relationship to their data was typically prescribed by preset LIMS dashboards and reports.
Often the data was disorganized and siloed from other enterprise systems, making accessibility an issue, usually necessitating complex, skillful data modeling exercises.
Now, as artificial intelligence and machine learning move into the lab things are changing once again.
Utilizing data science algorithms, these state-of-the-art tools process all of that structured and unstructured LIMS data at high speeds, merging it with external enterprise data and providing valuable insight for lab managers and analysts, allowing timely, meaningful recommendations.
This means historic LIMS data is no longer hidden from views; it’s put to work for the benefit of the entire enterprise, helping facilitate advanced statistical analysis, greater insights, and dynamic business intelligence.
Utilizing this state-of-the-art technology to reshape LIMS data into action is now a feature of today’s fast-moving labs across all industries, and as described in the analytics opportunities highlighted in this paper, the impact will be enormous.
Advanced Analytics: The What, The How, The Why Now
Today’s instrumentation, modernized models of public/private partnership, and evolving industry standards have made mass data collection both straightforward and indispensable.
These progressions have also give-rise to a scenario in which researchers and analysts must consider a vast (ever-growing) number of variables prior to the decision-making process. Then, add the challenge of ever-shrinking timelines to all of that data processing.
The race to develop a COVID-19 vaccine across the pharmaceutical industry exhibited the potential of what’s possible when multiple partners collaborate to reduce the research lifecycle, and now that the world has witnessed “Warp Speed,” there’s no going back.
In simple terms, the companies that will survive the next five years are those that learn to move faster by efficiently utilizing their data: historic and new, lab-specific and enterprise-wide.
Here’s where advanced analytics comes into its own. A lab-specific, LIMS-ready state-of-the-art analytics solution that solves both speed and data volume challenges.
It allows lab professionals to obtain a full panoramic view of their lab and their enterprise, helping to identify the next best action by creating meaning from data.
This visibility not only accelerates speed to market — it also significantly reduces costs and assists smart decision-making, both inside the lab and company-wide.
Understanding Advanced Analytics
Advanced — The Vehicle
A lab-specific advanced analytics solution has the capacity to digest gigantic volumes of unstructured and structured data from numerous sources.
Powered by state-of-the-art AI, the solution applies statistical and machine learning algorithms to generate meaning from that data, pinpointing patterns, behaviors, risk factors, and undeveloped opportunities. These progressive features are only useful if they’re usable.
The best advanced analytics solutions can be integrated into the existing LIMS environment as well as other data sources, appealing to operators of all abilities as they can directly interact with the data.
Using a conventional point-and-click interface, users can smoothly drill down to LIMS workflows and back up to big-picture visualizations with no trouble – wrapped in a user-friendly package, advanced as “advanced” should be.
Analytics — The Destination
The data that drives AI and machine learning in the lab is generated using LIMS (sample and environmental data, data from connected instruments, etc.) and from the enterprise (ERP and MEP systems, etc.).
The advanced analytics solution has been developed to transform that data into business and statistical intelligence, supplying operators with real-time customized charts, graphs, reports, and dashboards on-demand to help them identify and enhance any subsequent steps.
This propels the science of just-in-time decision-making in the lab, utilizing both historic and real-time data to anticipate outcomes, prevent failures, and release the potential and solutions held within all of the valuable LIMS data.
What Does this Add up to?
Advanced analytics in the lab is crucial for:
- A wider scope of research and/or testing. Use advanced analytics to extract historic LIMS data and combine with other relevant data sources, thus creating meaningful, relevant insights.
- Accelerated speed to market. A lab-specific analytics solution eradicates conventional barriers to LIMS data, expediting research and facilitating streamlined testing.
- A lab with increased profitability. By teaching the advanced analytics solution to recognize under-developed opportunities and flag risks, labs can hone and accelerate their workflow.
Advanced Analytics Opportunity: The Research Lab
A Perfume Manufacturer’s R&D Lab
The challenge to develop a single new scent means manual testing of a dozen or more fragrance combinations. This burns through precious time and material resources with no guarantee of success.
Advanced analytics expands their options while reducing their innovation lifecycle. By utilizing criteria determined at the bench, researchers teach their advanced analytics solution to recognize potential candidates from years of sample data previously stored in their LIMS.
The result is research supported by data science. While researchers test only four combinations recommended by their advanced analytics solution their scope of research is intensified through tens of thousands of data points, considerably more than would be possible in real-time at the bench. This enhances the outcome of every project.
Researchers acquire an automated innovation lifecycle as an advanced analytics solution ignites progress from the start, arriving at the scent-of-choice in record time. Repeated across each single research project, this translates to a significant increase in the lab’s efficiency and, comparatively, its profitability.
Advanced Analytics Opportunity: The Manufacturing Quality Lab
A Quality Testing Lab at a Boutique Winery
The challenge that occurs is valuable cask capacity being tied-up when a batch of wine ferments. This can be a gamble for any vintner, who must wait on average two years for each batch to finish the processing lifecycle before knowing, for certain, if that batch was worth the wait. Advanced analytics turns a gamble into a sure thing.
Their LIMS software archives five years’ worth of product data. The company utilizes an advanced analytics solution to search for patterns across the data sets, isolating particular variables that influence product quality. The solution’s AI engine can predict which batches will meet the quality threshold as it learns from those variables and.
Based on a statistical analysis of the LIMS data, the result is optimized resource planning as only the wines that are the most likely to produce on quality are fermented to maturity. This makes sure that valuable cask capacity is allocated strategically, enhancing the company’s overall efficiency and throughput.
Advanced Analytics Opportunity: The Contract Testing Lab
A Contract Services Lab Specializing in Pharmaceutical Testing
The challenge for a lab already operating at capacity and struggling to perform routine maintenance is working out how to limit any negative impact on a testing schedule. Advanced analytics facilitates reductions in downtime by predicting surges in demand.
Utilizing an advanced analytics solution inside their LIMS, this lab team can reposition their strategy from “routine maintenance” to “prescriptive and preventive maintenance.”
The solution extracts pre-existing LIMS data (as well as databases, instrument software, and log files) to determine what specific maintenance tasks should be prioritized by urgency.
These tasks could be predicated on the instrument’s historic performance, the number of samples scheduled, the operator using the instrument, the consumables involved, or other key factors.
The advanced analytics solution also predicts demand by utilizing LIMS data and also helps lab managers schedule maintenance around upcoming projects, facilitating a dynamic and enterprising “uptime strategy.”
This results in improved operational readiness. Rather than withdraw an instrument from operations based on a static maintenance schedule, lab operators can streamline maintenance strategies to focus only on areas that duly need attention.
Not only does this help them to improve the lab schedule, but it also limits unexpected downtime by alerting lab officials to potential performance issues before they occur.
Why Choose Lab-Specific Advanced Analytics Instead of an Enterprise-Level Solution?
Smooth two-way integration: with an analytics solution developed for the lab, users can easily switch between higher-level visualizations and discrete LIMS data.
For instance, if a user observes an anomaly in the analytics dashboard, they can scour the data for a self-service query, then simply click back to the dashboard. This is a smooth process that takes place across a familiar interface.
Analytics that know the lab: The optimal lab-based analytics solution will present hundreds or thousands of statistical and machine learning algorithms designed for lab-specific use cases, supplying operators the tools necessary to create meaningful insights without IT support.
Better security: A lab-based analytics solution can acquire the permissions, security, and data integrity features pre-built into the LIMS, facilitating access that is controlled appropriately as data remains compliant and secure.
To keep up with today’s rapidly expanding market demands, lab managers require a full panoramic view. They need to mine insights from historic data, gaining insights from the past and using those insights to see into the future: identifying possible risks and locking in on new opportunities.
A transparent view of reality inside the lab and across the enterprise as a whole, each united with the other in a precise, nuanced picture of the business’s complete health.
That’s what it means to have a panoramic view: linking the past to the future and lab-specific to enterprise-wide. To acquire such a view, labs must put their LIMS data to work, driving an advanced analytics solution with the capacity to deliver statistical and business analysis on demand.
This is the next generation of transformation for the digital lab, and LabVantage is ready to help businesses reach the peak of the respective market.
LabVantage Analytics is a self-service, full-featured, advanced analytics solution developed to integrate seamlessly with LabVantage LIMS. Equipped with more than 520 visualization widgets and over 1,000 AI algorithms, lab users have the flexibility needed to explore, evaluate, and visualize their data in customized and meaningful ways.
This information has been sourced, reviewed and adapted from materials provided by LabVantage Solutions, Inc.
For more information on this source, please visit LabVantage Solutions, Inc.