Access to the Same Informatics Tools Can Accelerate Discovery
More and more often, we are seeing the R&D in many organization being hit with a case of wanderlust. Projects are no longer content to stay within the confines of one building or even one campus. Often times they feel the need to travel the world, meeting great minds and learning from other similar experiments or samples.
What is a R&D organization to do? Its data and samples must be properly managed and cared for– their locations must be tracked and their virtual passports must be continually stamped with information such as who they were with, what they did, and how they changed along the way.
For humans this tracking would happen through social media, with close friends having a real-time view into the trip and perhaps even affecting decisions being made by the traveler, via direct communication. Letters and postcards are a thing of the past – as is waiting to have the film developed after the trip.* Now, it is all instantaneous, through a shared social platform.
So, when this same type of journey happens for a sample, what is the best way to keep track at home? Obviously the sample can’t tell its own story, but it can be recorded by researchers and automated equipment into a shared, collaborative informatics platform. Then, scientists on the home-front can look at what is happening to the sample and suggest the next step, or just keep an eye (in real-time) on progress.
Using Equal Informatics Software Helps Collaborators Answer Critical Questions
Being able to complete all of your research in-house is a thing of the past. Even when it did happen, it was challenging to make sure all parties involved had the right access to the right data at the right time.
Access to the same cloud-based informatics tools can enable collaborators to achieve greater benefits. The collaboration as a whole works more effectively when both parties have the ability to enter and monitor the same information via equal, full-strength informatics software. (There’s no need to use travel-sized tools for samples and data, even though they may be traveling the world.)
Equal insight into the same data allows multiple sites to know what was done, as well as who did it, and what the outcome was. When this information can be traced back to the raw data and isn’t in summarized reports, it helps to create an atmosphere conducive to delivering the best possible outcomes by enabling progress and reducing risk.
Some benefits to these types of collaborative tools include:
Decision Making Benefits of Collaboration
Decision making becomes easier and more reliable if both sides of the process use the same tools. This enables transparent/ real-time decisions because there is equal access to data and results. There is more trust in decisions base off information derived from one point of truth across collaborators.
Collaboration Aiding Communication
Communication becomes more relevant when discussions involve real-time information. An informatics platform that immediately makes data accessible and allows users to post, comment and share information within the platform means some of the basic pitfalls of externalization can be avoided. This means no waiting for phone calls, emails, site visits, language, and time-zone difficulties… you get the idea.
Data Collection Benefits of Collaboration
Data Collection improves because automatic uploading can occur from any site in the partnership. Data can be summarized and available in a dashboard which is then immediately and securely available. This avoids manual document management and updating and maintains one point of truth for information.
Collaboration Improving Workflows and SOPs
Workflows and SOPs improve with the same tools because they are updateable as needed within the single system of record. Changes are immediately visible and accessible to everyone on the system. This is far better than rigid and unenforceable SOPs which may be updated via paper or email.
Security Benefits of Collaboration
Security increases when all collaborators have access to the same tools across. When information can by accessed by project, account or user level, and is version controlled, data can be more trustworthy for decision making, especially when it comes to oversight and audits. Direct access to a shared platform is far better than the manual transmission of data, where there are no user permissions and it is difficult to audit. Document management can be a nightmare, especially when it comes to keeping track of paper or other versions of documents which may wind up stored in individual places.
Benefits of R&D Collaboration
Streamlining communication, processes and information sharing empowers researchers to focus on discovery. Strong informatics capabilities for all collaborators, accessible from anywhere across the globe, can lower barriers to discovery and help organizations to realize the benefits of externalized research, especially when the members of these partnerships come from a diverse set of organizations with diverse backgrounds and research styles.
When collaborators share equal informatics tools, R&D partnerships can flourish across the globe. Samples and data can travel the world securely and safely, with real-time chaperones keeping an eye on their every move. Learn more about Thermo Fisher™ Platform for Science™ software and laboratory information management systems to see how they can help enable your collaborative research.
*Connected Lab Blog note: Members of the Connected Lab Staff can remember backpacking across Europe and haunting the American Express Travel Office in various cities to see if they were holding letters sent by friends and family– another thing of the past.