Insights from industry

A Platform Approach to Scientific Data Flow Management: Everything You Need to Know

insights from industryAlan MarcusChief Growth OfficerLabVantage

In this interview, AZoM speaks with Alan Marcus, Chief Growth Officer, at LabVantage during Pittcon 2024 about their platform approach to scientific data flow management.

Please introduce yourself and your role at LabVantage. 

My name is Alan Marcus and I'm the Chief Growth Officer for LabVantage. This entails looking for opportunities for growth or barriers to growth. Currently, this includes looking after Marketing, marketing programs, strategic alliances, and growth initiatives in new technology spaces. 

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Can you tell us about the new ecosystem that's been launched at Pittcon?

Historically, LabVantage has been very good and very well known in the manufacturing side for laboratories QA/QC, and what we've started to see is that our customers have been driving us more and more toward a platform play. We began to see that there was a missing opportunity for how to manage the scientific data from R&D all the way through to manufacturing and there were a lot of incompatible data sets. So we started to look at that and realize we could take our analytics that have been doing very well in QA/QC, and move it to the R&D space and provide much more predictive capabilities for the kind of work they're doing. So instead of running a lot of tests and experimentation over and over again because the data's so hard to find, now the analytics can tell them what's already run and what the results were, and they don't need to redo it. 

What is unique about LabVantage's AI-powered laboratory informatics platform?

A lot of the good informatics companies and other ELN capability companies are really good at understanding the specific science they're researching, and they have some very good solutions, but they're still independent. They're not connected to that data platform. They're not expanding the enterprise's end-to-end capabilities of scientific data. So they're much more focused on the individual research problem and are very good at it. What LabVantage is looking at is not as a competition to that, but recognizing that there are missing underpinning capabilities that allow us to leverage that data in a much more robust way. And we're not really seeing anyone else do that right now. 

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How has the global expansion of LabVantage's Professional Services Organizations impacted the implementation timelines for the LIMS solution?

We are starting to find that we can kind of prepackage and drive much more efficiency in how we do that delivery. Increasing the talent pool within our ranks is another area. These are leading to much shorter implementation times. We're able to more rapidly deploy and respond to customers as they go through that cycle. Particular areas of challenge have always been master data management, huge sets of data that seem to be never-ending, getting bigger by the moment. And now they're trying to move into this more integrated platform approach. How do you move all that data and how do you make sure that you haven't lost anything in it? Because this is critical business data.

So, techniques we're starting to develop because we've got much more time with the customer will allow us to move that data more efficiently. And then on the back end, particularly in regulated industries, you've got validation. And validation is a very long and onerous process. And again, our capabilities are now starting to shrink that down. Some of it is features we're building into the platform that allow the professional service organization to leverage better. Others are just much better appreciation because of the magnitude of installs we're doing. And you'll see, we'll start talking about how many of these go lives are happening and much larger than we've seen in the past.

Image Credit: LabVantage

How do LabVantage's training and certification services contribute to the success of the LIMS implementation?

We're looking at actually building training capabilities directly into the platform itself, and you'll start to see some of that come out in the next few months, which then allows us to build training up for our customers right in the platform. So if they prefer to still get trained by humans, they can, but we can build a lot of that training exercise within the platform and build it up as part of our implementation service. So, every time the customer gets a new person in the lab or moves people around, they will have training built into the platform that allows them to stay up-to-date.

Which direction do you think AI is heading in the industry?

The big thing I see with AI right now is the challenge we have in the notion of data scientists and AI capabilities that are separated or divorced from the domain in which they're trying to solve problems. And so what has started to happen is that a lot of companies are experimenting with AI. Or they're testing out across a broad space without real objectives and failing. So where I think AI is gonna go is becoming much tighter into domain space and really marrying domain experts in data science together to create new kinds of AI capabilities. The way that starts is by finding the use case that we can solve, from top to bottom, with clear objectives aligned with the business, science, and what AI is capable of doing. And I think we're gonna start to see more and more of that because once you get a couple of use cases working, it's much easier to build onto that platform. And how does that affect the separation of science? I can't say, because I don't know yet, but I would say that we will see some domain explosions in the future and spaces that are going to start leveraging AI in a way that maybe we haven't thought about yet.

A Platform Approach to Scientific Data Flow Management: Everything You Need to Know

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How important is collaboration across the industry?

LIMS and the informatics platform, and more broadly this kind of data challenge that our customers have. Increasingly, those data issues are caused by instruments and things that we see here. If you're in the chemistry industry, each company comes with its own standards and philosophy of how data gets exchanged. And then there are companies like Labvantage where we try and figure it out and how to pull it all together. There's going to be an increased value if we can create an architecture in the industry where we can work more closely together. And so that's something that we're looking more carefully at. Again, it starts with a platform approach. Without that, you can't really build on it. I think we'll start to see ourselves as an industry moving away from workflow management to more data flow management. I think that's more what customers are looking for and hope to get.

About Alan Marcus

Alan Marcus holds a BS in Computer Science from Rutgers University and has completed executive education at The Wharton School, Stanford University Graduate School of Business, Harvard Business School, and a Graduate Certificate in Telecommunications Engineering from UC Berkeley. His academic and professional journey reflects a deep commitment to advancing technology and digital strategies globally.

Alan began his career as an Engineer at 3Com Inc., moving on to significant roles at Novell Inc., and Cisco, where he was pivotal in product marketing and competitive intelligence. As VP & CMO at Symbol Technologies Inc., he spearheaded a transformative shift towards a solutions-oriented go-to-market strategy, significantly impacting revenue and market positioning.

At the World Economic Forum, Alan served as Head of Technology, Media, and Digital, where he managed a CHF 55M practice and set the global agenda for technology and digital media, contributing to influential publications like the Global Information and Technology Readiness report. His board roles at MetricStream Inc. and IMEX Media Inc. and his position as Chief Digital Strategy Officer at Planet Smart City underscore his governance expertise and strategic vision in digital strategy.

Currently he is Chief Growth Officer for TCG Digital and LabVantage Solutions Inc. in New York. His expertise spans strategic planning, business transformation, product management, and technology policy, underpinned by a knack for leading diverse, multinational teams through change.

About Labvantage

LabVantage Solutions, Inc. is the leading global laboratory informatics provider. Our industry-leading LIMS and ELN  solution and world-class services are the result of 35+ years of experience in laboratory informatics. LabVantage offers a comprehensive portfolio of products and services that enable companies to innovate faster in the R&D cycle, improve manufactured product quality, achieve accurate recordkeeping and comply with regulatory requirements.

LabVantage is a highly configurable, web-based LIMS/ELN that powers hundreds of laboratories globally, large and small. Built on a platform that is widely recognized as the best in the industry, LabVantage can support hundreds of concurrent users as well as interface with instruments and other enterprise systems. It is the best choice for industries ranging from pharmaceuticals and consumer goods to molecular diagnostics and bio banking. LabVantage domain experts advise customers on best practices and maximize their ROIs by optimizing LIMS implementation with a rapid and successful deployment.

Disclaimer: The views expressed here are those of the interviewee and do not necessarily represent the views of Limited (T/A) AZoNetwork, the owner and operator of this website. This disclaimer forms part of the Terms and Conditions of use of this website.


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